In shocking news yesterday Google announced on the Google Wave blog the suspension of development on the project. The brain child of the Rasmussen brothers, who brought you google maps, Wave barely made it from the beach of creation. According to Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Operations & Google Fellow “Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked” and this is the reason for suspension of development and support.
For those of you that have never waved, google wave was a modern alternative to email based in XML. Dreamt up by a team of programmers based in Australia it was release in 2009 at Googles I/O conference to a sample of developers in a sandbox preview. At google I/O 2010 google finally released it openly to the public and has enjoyed a slow but progressive success. Developers and techies alike have flocked to the system to develop robots and extensions for the platform to facilitate better collaboration. One developer states that “Google has shown they don’t know how to run a community project.” citing their lack of communication with the wave community as being the downfall for its status as a non runner.
Its fluid like ability to integrate various media and ability for itself to be embedded meant that the platform would make a great system for many different use cases with further development. According to the google blog, Google will “extend the technology for use in other Google projects”. Some elements of wave have crept into products such as Gmail and we can only hold our breath to see how it will be integrated into others.
The online Wave community have been up in arms about the impending shutting down of the system prompting one user to set up and online petition. Online commentators have said that Google wave was an attempt at too much and it worked out as being “a jack of all trades but master of none”. Certainly the user interface in the beginning was un structured and unorganised but it was still in development.
Personally I think that Google pulled this one too quickly with a chance for real innovation from the community and I can see where there maybe replacements ready to fill the gap left in the market for a collaboration tool.
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