Google Wave, the real-time communications and collaboration platform once touted by the search engine giant as the next big thing, is now Google’s next gone thing.
In a blog posted late Thursday Google said it is discontinuing development of Wave as a standalone product. The blog, posted by Urs Holzle, senior vice president of operations and a Google fellow, said the Wave site will be maintained “at least through the end of the year” and the Wave technology could be incorporated into other Google projects.
“Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked,” Holzle explained in the blog. But he didn’t provide any specifics about just how many people actually used the online application, other than a reference to its “numerous loyal fans.”
Google will provide tools “so that users can easily ‘liberate’ their content from Wave,” the blog said.
Google Wave was in development for more than a year before it became generally available in May as part of the Google Apps Suite. The online application was intended to compete with other communications and collaboration applications such as Microsoft’s Exchange and SharePoint and IBM’s Lotus Notes.
Holzle said Wave "set a high bar for what was possible in a Web browser,” and in his blog he said Google executives “weren’t quite sure how users would respond to this radically different kind of communication.”
Now they know.