There are probably not too many of us surprised by Google’s decision to drop Wave (perhaps its demise was a little quicker than we thought). However, I liked how Wave’s designers pushed the envelope with the technology (in terms of mixing styles of collaborative interaction and in terms of their intended scope of use) but Wave was radically unfamiliar to most people. Therefore, most struggled to find scenarios in which to apply it. In the end, I think Lars Rasumussen was wrong when he said “Wave is what email would look like if it were invented today.” No, it would probably look like…well, mail.
So, great technology, but no obvious use cases. I feel for those people who bought into the vision and dedicated significant amounts of their time trying to make it happen. Let’s hope remnants of the project (perhaps the Wave Federation Protocol) live on and come back to benefit us some time in the future.
“despite these wins, and numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product”
Previous posts about Wave that may also be of interest:
- Google Wave and its Audacity of Scope (June 2009) – “Google is telling us it aspires to make Google Wave as pervasive as e-mail. However, realizing these aspirations is a long-shot. To have any hope of making it happen Google needs a strong extended-release dose of determination, flexibility, credibility, and lots of luck.” (their determination lasted a little over a year)
- Does Google Have Enough Patience For Wave? (November 2009)- “Last week at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference I attended both the Google Wave keynote and break-out sessions (the keynote on the main stage was a shortened version of the full break-out)…Unfortunately, my sense was that attendees were generally underwhelmed. I left the session thinking that Wave’s honeymoon with the public may be just about over.” (It turns out the Enterprise 2.0 Conference marked the height of Wave’s popularity, after the initial announcement, as illustrated by this Google search timeline).
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