Remember Google Wave? The service which was going to revolutionise email in theory and interested almost no-one in practice has finally been opened up to everyone...
Google used its annual I/O developer conference to announce the invite only system has now been dropped for the struggling platform with both the public and Google Apps business users now able to sign up at wave.google.com.
"If you tried Google Wave out a while ago, and found it not quite ready for real use, now is a good time to come back for a second try," said surprisingly candid Wave developer Stephanie Hannon. "Wave is much faster and much more stable than when we began the preview, and we have worked hard to make Wave easier to use."
Of course the problem remains that - good or not - Wave requires checking yet another inbox and most of us have more than enough of those. Then again given Wave is all about collaboration, opening it up does at least mean you should finally have a wider array of people to collaborate with...
In related news Google has also announced the 'Chrome OS Web Store'. This will allow users to install web-based applications which run using the likes of Flash and HTML5. Content was surprisingly varied too with everything from games such as Lego Star Wars to immersive magazines from Sports Illustrated (below).
The result is a development which makes Chrome OS something of a hybrid between mobile and desktop operating systems. Whether it will be the best of both worlds or find itself caught between them remains to be seen.
Other developer centric news also included the announcement of the Google Font Directory (designed to standardise font APIs across the Web) and WebM, an open video format for streaming media which has attained support form Mozilla, Opera and "more than forty other publishers". It's too early to tell if this could be a threat to the likes of FFmpeg and DirectShow, but the intentions seem honourable.
Google I/O 2010
Google Wave Blog
Chrome OS Web Store images courtesy of Engadget