Google Wave Preview Hits The Beach


The launch marks the first time Google Wave has been available outside of the developer community, some 6,000 of whom gained access to the software in June.

The pending availability of the trial software was announced in a blog posted Tuesday by Lars Rasmussen, engineering manager at Google, and Stephanie Hannon, the company's group product manager.

To participate in the trial, Google is sending invitations to developers who have been working with Wave, users who signed up on and provided feedback, and select customers of the vendor's Google Apps on-demand application suite. Google also said it would ask those participants to nominate other candidates to receive invitations.

First showcased at the Google I/O Conference in May as Google's next big thing, Google Wave is Google's collaboration and communication software that ties together e-mail, instant messaging, document sharing, blogging and wikis into a single application.

Sponsored post

It's widely expected to compete head-to-head with Microsoft's SharePoint software and IBM's Notes, Sametime and Connections products.

Google Wave is essentially a retooling of the vendor's Gmail Web mail offering, which adds in more realtime communications services. Google said Wave lets users share images and videos, and converse in what Google terms a collaborative conversation stream or "waves."

In the blog, Rasmussen and Hannon said Wave "isn't quite ready for prime time" and some key features haven't been fully implemented, such as the ability to remove a participant from a "wave" or defined group of users. Also missing is the application's draft mode and the ability to configure the permissions of users on a wave. Those will become available during the next few months, the blog said.

"You will still experience the occasional downtime, a crash every now and then, part of the system being a bit sluggish and some of the user interface being, well, quirky," the blog cautioned.