Google is waving goodbye to Google Wave

Last year Google launched a service that had lots of people excited to try it, called Google Wave. Users everywhere were very eager to get their hands on an invite to the service, since the service was invitation only at the time it launched.

Once the service quickly spread around, users were dumbfounded by what Google Wave actually does. Even though the service had real-time character-by-character typing, drag-n-drop file sharing and webcam support, Google announced it will be killing Google Wave, as the adoption rate Google had hoped for was not there.

Google was recently seeking a new use for Google Wave, trying to get the healthcare industry to use its services, however, that now seems to not be the case, as the company has announced it will discontinuing its services.

Google said it will be keeping Google Wave on life-support until the end of the year. Central parts of the websites code, including the character-by-character and drag-and-drop will be available as open source.

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Tried to use it for college, but it didn't work out. Very nice concept though that could be tweaked/refined. As was mentioned it should have been public beta, more folks would have used it.

If i had someone to actually talk to, it might have been pretty cool...like a better IM platform, but because it was all invite and never really built any hype, the few friends I had invited didnt want to use it for the same reason.

I'm with most people here. Didn't find it useful (hell, don't even know what the whole idea was really)...

Google did not even advertise wave...and some explanation as well...they should try to support people email instead of having wave account

I think it was said best when people got in it and then realised wtf do I do now?
I know that was my reaction. It looked like a glorified web based email client

For small companies run by a few members, Wave was indeed a boon...
I used to discuss about various things with my partners, there on wave. None of the IMs are as intelligent as Wave was. Neither they have collaborative editing stuff.
At least Google should keep it for those who actually use it... Shutting down completely makes me sad ..

I'm using Google Wave extensively doing collaborations on many different projects. Sad to see it go, because I found a really really good use for it.

Google Wave had its flaws, but I was hoping Google wouldn't give up, because the flaws and shortcomings were really easy to spot and it was extremely easy to come up with ideas on how to fix and improve it.

Where will I find something similar, which is hassle-free and doesn't require people to install any additional software? Preferably without some sort of sign-up? Preferably web?

I actually didn't have any use for it, First I was like OMG COOL I got an invite but when I tried it I didn't see anything really great about it. I'll just stick with Web Search,Chrome (not my default browser though),Gmail,iGoogle,and Google Docs. so in my opinion it was good that they didn't keep it up. but it does disappoint me.. that they didn't bother by mproving it.

Wave suffered from two big problems
1. It was a solution looking for a problem
2. It was pretty much useless w/o other people the user knew actually being logged on and using Wave

If Google doesn't position Google TV and Google Me correctly, they'll suffer the same fate

So where's the use for those crazy job interview questions the company is known for? They should be questioning about real life problems. Creativity alone is nothing without good good business plans...I mean, at least fora company with millions of shareholders.

TonyLock said,
I heard Google would be changing the GMail interface to look like GWave.

Considering how many people thought that the Wave UI was too complex, that could be a huge mistake

TonyLock said,
I heard Google would be changing the GMail interface to look like GWave.

I heard that your an idiot.... so that must be true also right?

Well that's a bit of a shame because it was a very nice product when you used it correctly.

I'm excited about the code going open-source though because I can see some of it being put to use.

I had it turned on for my hosted domain but never used it. I've disabled access given this news. I do realize that some people had a use for it though.

i thought it had potential also but it was never going to work.... google was asking for too much change too quickly and users aren't willing to relearn things just to use a product that has 2 good features and 50 redundant ones.

Back in the day when getting a Google wave invite was all the rave I, finally got one. Then I called up my local computer repair competitor in town to offer him one, because I had some to give out. He hadn't even heard of it before.

I used it during group projects when it was invite only. It's a decent tool, but marketed poorly. Oh well. There's tons of other products that do the same thing

I remember being able to do real time character-by-character chat on ICQ in the late 1990s - early 2000s. Wasn't anything new. Just better promoted! (Obviously not well enough in this case!)

Zoom7000 said,
I remember being able to do real time character-by-character chat on ICQ in the late 1990s - early 2000s. Wasn't anything new. Just better promoted! (Obviously not well enough in this case!)

Telnet also had that ? in the 1980s or even 70s ?!

Zoom7000 said,
I remember being able to do real time character-by-character chat on ICQ in the late 1990s - early 2000s. Wasn't anything new. Just better promoted! (Obviously not well enough in this case!)

That was one of the things that left my scratching my head. Why do I need to watch someone type on this? It was such a strongly promoted feature of Google Wave too...but I failed to see any real benefit from this "feature". You are right, that ICQ had this feature (I remember it). There is a reason why current IM clients don't have this "feature"...

Shadrack said,

That was one of the things that left my scratching my head. Why do I need to watch someone type on this? It was such a strongly promoted feature of Google Wave too...but I failed to see any real benefit from this "feature". You are right, that ICQ had this feature (I remember it). There is a reason why current IM clients don't have this "feature"...

I think AIM has that feature since version 6.8 - "Real-Time IM."

Shadrack said,

That was one of the things that left my scratching my head. Why do I need to watch someone type on this? It was such a strongly promoted feature of Google Wave too...but I failed to see any real benefit from this "feature". You are right, that ICQ had this feature (I remember it). There is a reason why current IM clients don't have this "feature"...

I have to disagree with you partially there, the benefit of seeing the other person type in an IM situation is that as the sentence is being typed (be it a question, answer, general bit of info etc) your forming an opinion on your response even before the 'send' button is clicked (as there is no send button.

I am very used to this type of chatting by using log me in remote rescue for IT support incidents - it includes a standard IM messaging tool but because I am logged onto the persons desktop I can see what they are typing and start forming my response before they've finished.

Its not much, but in use it does speed things up and removed IM frustration (the dreaded waiting for 'your friend is typing a message' to end and a message to come through.

But agree with whats being said about wave being invite only - that was just dumb Google, invite only on a collaboration tool? I had like 1 other person I knew and we were never on at the same time, just became a pain in the ass really.

It wasn't bad but as I said elsewhere, I think it was poorly marketed. They got this hype going like with GMail where everyone was trying to get invites but instead of a service everyone had a use for like email they got a collaboration tool. I think the fact it was more aimed at work flow was also poorly communicated and left a lot of casual users disappointed in a product that they otherwise probably wouldn't have even looked at.

Odd they'd remove it but I think, I would have though there was a fair few smaller work places which are using it.

funny cos a friend we are about to start working together on some WP7 apps insists we use Google Wave. After 10 mins of trying to figure out "our" URL and 10 mins of exploration I rushed to recommend SharePoint Workspace 2010:P

Riva said,
funny cos a friend we are about to start working together on some WP7 apps insists we use Google Wave. After 10 mins of trying to figure out "our" URL and 10 mins of exploration I rushed to recommend SharePoint Workspace 2010:P

SharePoint Workspace is so much better and easier to use and learn.
Plus it integrates with Windows and has offline access.

kInG aLeXo said,
Time to kill Buzz also ?

Buzz is better than Twitter, but Google came to the game entirely too late. It should be killed because it's not used because it's actually a nice app.

Well this sucks. My colleagues and I use it every work day for collaboration. Much, much better than group chats in an IM.

Mathachew said,
Well this sucks. My colleagues and I use it every work day for collaboration. Much, much better than group chats in an IM.

I don't understand why google just keep it. It suck for some people but for others its very useful.

Quattrone said,

I don't understand why google just keep it. It suck for some people but for others its very useful.

Its a bloated mechanism, and the resources that wave requires could probably be better spent elsewhere, from Google's point of view at least.

Mathachew said,
Well this sucks. My colleagues and I use it every work day for collaboration. Much, much better than group chats in an IM.

It was an excellent collaboration tool. It was good for things where all the specific communication was for a specific "project". It wasn't so good as a general communications tool and it certainly wouldn't be replacing IM or Email for stuff.

Quattrone said,

I don't understand why google just keep it. It suck for some people but for others its very useful.

well at least for now the functionality of seeing someone type is in google docs. i read that marissa mayer sees google wave and gmail merging in the future, and since wave is dying this year, i'm sure we'll see wave's technology merge into gmail at some point. perhaps with google talk, docs, and maybe some new conversation view inside gmail?

Pajter said,
I was very underwhelmed when I first tried it. Didn't have any use for me.

No, and that was Google's biggest mistake with this. Making this invite-only, when that's the direct opposite of what it needs. Invite-only works well with e-mail, since you can just communicate with someone on another mail provider, but on Google Wave, everyone who you wanted to communicate with needed to also be on Google Wave. Which they weren't. So it failed.

Pajter said,
I was very underwhelmed when I first tried it. Didn't have any use for me.

I think that's how a lot of people would have felt, even if it wasn't invite only. As an application it was confusing enough for me, I wouldn't have expected most of my friend circle (who aren't as tech savvy as me) to have understood it in the slightest.

The fatal flaw for Wave was that it simply did too much. There was no defined purpose. Was it a private chatroom? Was it a file sharing tool? Was it an advanced email client? Was it a private message board? It was all of them, and so much more. But most of all, MS SharePoint blows it out of the water for enterprises. They tried to create a system to logging all forms of communication, but they forgot to put in any way of separating out the different communication methods, and you ended up with a massive kludge of different boxes in a wave that you needed a play button to navigate. When you need to use a "play" button to follow activity in a glorified forum thread, you're doing it wrong.

To restate what I said in the other thread, this sums it up nicely IMO:
"Google Wave makes today's internet users feel like our grandparents feel when they look at a HDTV remote."

To me the only reason was that it was invite only. I was eager to try it out but never got the chance to even look at it at all and now it's going away.

Majesticmerc said,

"Google Wave makes today's internet users feel like our grandparents feel when they look at a HDTV remote."

Exactly my views... Wave was not for people of this era.. may be 3-4 yrs later, it would have been something great.

Northgrove said,

No, and that was Google's biggest mistake with this. Making this invite-only, when that's the direct opposite of what it needs. Invite-only works well with e-mail, since you can just communicate with someone on another mail provider, but on Google Wave, everyone who you wanted to communicate with needed to also be on Google Wave. Which they weren't. So it failed.

I thought that invite-only approach was the dumbest thing ever! If it was going to be the killer feature they wanted it to be, then they needed to get as many users using it as possible.

Majesticmerc said,

I think that's how a lot of people would have felt, even if it wasn't invite only. As an application it was confusing enough for me, I wouldn't have expected most of my friend circle (who aren't as tech savvy as me) to have understood it in the slightest.

The fatal flaw for Wave was that it simply did too much. There was no defined purpose. Was it a private chatroom? Was it a file sharing tool? Was it an advanced email client? Was it a private message board? It was all of them, and so much more. But most of all, MS SharePoint blows it out of the water for enterprises. They tried to create a system to logging all forms of communication, but they forgot to put in any way of separating out the different communication methods, and you ended up with a massive kludge of different boxes in a wave that you needed a play button to navigate. When you need to use a "play" button to follow activity in a glorified forum thread, you're doing it wrong.

To restate what I said in the other thread, this sums it up nicely IMO:
"Google Wave makes today's internet users feel like our grandparents feel when they look at a HDTV remote."

Nicely said.