At the same time that Microsoft got their bing bling on, Google announced the personal communication and collaboration tool which they have branded, the instantly marketable moniker – “Google Wave”.
In typical Google tradition, Wave will be open source for developers to experiment with and create addons and apps for. It will also be written for HTML 5.
Wave is a mashup of email, instant messaging, social networking and a wiki. In addition to its social application, the Google Wave team are also hoping the wave will catch on in the business community as an application for collaborative documentation.
It’s also a local innovation, engineered by the same team that developed Google Maps out of Sydney. Go Aussie.
With a suite of innovative features and functionality, the in-browser application offers as its irresistable publicity proposition, “Wave will be the new Email”.
Much has been written of the supposed extinction of email particularly in the age of social networking and instant messaging. However, after viewing the developer demo, we are prepared to catch Wave-fever, for 5 main reasons.
- Firstly, it’s faster than email – as it appears to be based on instant messaging conventions and user-experience principles.
- Secondly, every “wave” can be edited, viewed or responded to by multiple invited recipient simultaneously – also in visible real time.
- Thirdly, there is private messaging built in, as well as permission and view setting options meaning that each collaborators Wave experiences will be uniquely their own.
- Fourthly, each “Wave” moves to the top with each update contributed by any of the recipients of the “Wave”. This means instead of lots and lots of communications, you just have the most recently updated/relevant version.
- And then, there’s the “playback” feature which allows you to see each wave, update by update on a scroller-based timeline.
And so on.
As an in-browser application, Wave will undoubtedly become a major reason for Google’s influence in the inevitable global cloud computing ecosystem of the future.
But is it the category killer for email – a 40 year old paradigm? Is it more hype than hero? Or, to add a bit of paranoia to the mix, did the product take its name and inspiration from a young-adult literary reference?
We can’t wait to see what happens!