Google gives up on Wave


— 6:00 AM on August 5, 2010

Ever tried Google Wave? Part Gmail spinoff, part online collaboration tool, the utility seemed to have potential—at least once you figured out how to use it. Sadly, though, Wave won't be taking over everyone's social networking routines; Google announced yesterday that it's killing the project and moving on.

In a nutshell, Google blames lackluster user adoption for its decision to halt development. Google code monkeys will keep maintaining the existing service "at least through the end of the year," and they'll provide tools so users can pull their content out. But beyond that, Wave seems to be as good as dead. Only the underlying bits and pieces will live on:

[We will] 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.

Maybe Wave's complexity contributed to its undoing. I got a Wave invite a while back and hopped in, but I could never really figure out the point. Google Documents already takes care of my collaboration needs, and Gmail does a great job with my e-mail. Why do I need an extra piece of software to do mostly the same things? The UI seemed both intimidating and unintuitive, too, which didn't help.

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