I have received an email from Google 3 days ago stating that Google Wave will no longer be developed as a separate product. It is now in read only mode which means that you can no longer access its features except reading your existing waves. For those of you who are wondering what Google wave is, let us have a brief talk about what it is and why it never succeeded.
Google wave was first conceptualized to succeed email messaging system as the dominant form of internet communication. Each wave you create is open to all that are part of it and each participant can communicate in real time using the wave. It’s like a chat system and an e-mail system in one. It is a good tool for collaborating ideas between members of the group and is considered one of the best innovative online tools during its beta phase. At first glance, it seems that the idea is really great and very promising. However, many users found critical issues that contributed to its downfall.
Google wave offers no rollback of the changes that has occurred. If someone accidentally deleted all of its contents then it means goodbye to all the contents. You cannot also do some experiment on a wave’s content without not having the other participants of the wave see it. The content you add will become available to everyone immediately. You will not be prompted for a major change in the wave which is kind of disturbing since you won’t feel secure of what is currently happening in the wave. The input of data is also slow to be considered a real chat. More importantly, it is unstable and the service itself seems to have trouble with the user connections.
There is a good side with Google wave. There are lots of features in Google wave that they have incorporated in some of their more useful tools like Google Docs. Google wave’s feature of allowing simultaneous changes to a document is now available in Google docs. Additionally, you can create copies of it for security purposes. You also have more control of the users and their privileges. Their plan of stopping Google Wave’s development as a separate product may mean that its features will be incorporated in other projects. This is indeed a good step for them since Google wave’s features has a lot of uses and they will just have to find the right place for each feature.
Google Wave will be turned off on April 30, 2012. Until then, you can export some of your waves using some open source projects like Apache wave and Walkaround.