Google announced that Google Wave, the innovative communication platform released last year, will have to be discontinued. In other words, it’s gone down the drain, unfortunately.
This is what the people at Google had to say:
“Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects. The central parts of the code, as well as the protocols that have driven many of Wave’s innovations, like drag-and-drop and character-by-character live typing, are already available as open source, so customers and partners can continue the innovation we began.”
This was inevitable. Google Wave had a lot of interesting features, yes, but its interface is confusing and quite difficult to use. Although many thought that Google Wave will finally reinvent email, Google’s service combined an online document editor with an instant messenger. Google Wave allows you to create documents that are edited “live” and done so collaboratively in real-time. For a moment there, it looked like another version of Google Docs, but it’s more than just conversational version. It’s actually based on an open protocol, so you can edit a wave using multiple services. It’s even extensible, allowing you to build gadgets and robots that add new functionality.
Of course, like any other product from Google, Google Wave had a lot of nice things to offer to users, but Google didn’t build a compelling user experience nor did it define some use cases for the said application. Google could’ve used the platform to create multiple applications with clearly-defined goals: a new version of Google Chat, a brainstorming app etc., something really unique but concrete.
“We want to do things that matter to a large number of people at scale,” Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt said in an interview. Now that Google Wave is discontinued, some of its feature will be added to other Google services (Gmail, Google Docs), but the platform will obviously disappear. It’s clear that Google doesn’t want to invest in niche services, which is a big opportunity for startups.
Oh well, just another good thing from Google discontinued before it even reached its full potential. But hey, we’re talking about Google. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of it. Or if that was indeed the definitive end of Google Wave, something better will come eventually. So let’s all cross our fingers, shall we?
What do you think? Is this a bad move for Google? Have you enjoyed using Google Wave? What were the good points and the bad points? What would you like to share?
Let us all know in the comments!