As much as Google might like to try new and interesting things there are some efforts that just don’t catch on. Google Wave was one of those things.
When I first saw the demo of Google Wave I got fairly jazzed because I thought that this was something that was truly unique and different; and not in a bad way either. At various times over the last year I have surfed over to Google Wave and seen what was happening but it turns out not much at all was happening.
The big problem with Wave was that there was no real need or practical purpose for what they were trying to do with the project – in short it just drifted along with no purpose.
It seems that Google has realized this and is draining the pool. Google Wave, while on life-support until end of year, is no more.
We were equally jazzed about Google Wave internally, even though we weren’t quite sure how users would respond to this radically different kind of communication. The use cases we’ve seen show the power of this technology: sharing images and other media in real time; improving spell-checking by understanding not just an individual word, but also the context of each word; and enabling third-party developers to build new tools like consumer gadgets for travel, or robots to check code.
But 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, 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. In addition, we will work on tools so that users can easily “liberate” their content from Wave.
IT’s too bad because I think there was a lot of potential but I am also not surprised at this news.