Google waves bye bye to Wave

Tools

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) heralded its real-time collaboration platform, Wave, as a game changer upon unveiling it last year, but now it is letting it die a quiet death about three months after making it publicly available. The company said, on its official blog, that Wave didn't attract users as hoped.

By its own admission, Google was pushing the envelope and didn't know how users would react to "this radically different kind of communication." It appears to be a good example of technology getting too far ahead of users. 

"Wave's principal problem," InformationWeek's Thomas Claburn writes, "was that it needed a critical mass of users to be useful; early adopters tended to visit once or twice and then seldom returned because the people they wanted to communicate with were still using email, IM, Facebook or some other system."

Ryan Paul at Ars Technica noted that developers found Wave to be "a technological marvel," but it's no surprise that it didn't attract many fans among users: "Regular end users saw it as a mismatched amalgamation of disparate messaging paradigms blended together in a cumbersome Web-based interface."

In Paul's view, it might have made sense for Google to continue development on Wave and give users time to catch up to its promise. "It always seemed like a long-term endeavor, one that had the potential to gain greater mainstream appeal at some point in the future when evolving browser and network technology can finally make it practical," he writes.

Despite Wave's demise, the project did change the way that developers envision messaging technologies, Paul writes: "Breaking down the barriers between email, instant messaging and microblogging is a non-trivial task, one that will require a more incremental approach."

But even developers had a hard time understanding what Google Wave was all about, writes Alex Williams in a post at ReadWriteWeb. "It also did not help that Google Wave is one of the most complex technologies Google has ever offered to the development community," Williams writes. "Developers had difficulty understanding the context for Google Wave. It also did not help that Google Wave is one of the most complex technologies Google has ever offered to the development community."

For more, see:
- see the Official Google blog post
- see Thomas Claburn's post at InformationWeek
- see Ryan Paul's post at Ars Technica

Related Articles:
Google Wave: Is it useful, or just cool?
Busy week for Google
Can Google Wave make it in the enterprise?
Google to begin opening up Wave for testing