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Google Wave Begins Roll Out

Gordon Kelly by

Google Wave Begins Roll Out

There has been a great deal of excitement about Google Wave and rightly so. Google arguably spun email on its head when it introduced Gmail in 2004 with a then-game changing 1GB of storage and threaded email, and it believes Wave is the next step in its evolution. Now today Google will attempt to make believes of us all with the first public beta.

30 September sees Google send out over 100,000 invitations to preview Google Wave. These will largely be taken up by developers, users who signed up to preview the software at wave.google.com and select customers of Google Apps. Further invites will then be sent out based on recommendations made by this initial 100,000. "This, of course, will just be the beginning," said the company on its official blog. "If all goes well we will soon be inviting many more to try out Google Wave."

The initial build of Wave focuses on scalability, stability, speed and usability and Google admits a number of key featuers have yet to be implemented. This includes removing a participant from a wave and defining groups of users, while draft mode is still missing and you can't configure the permissions of users on a wave.

"Despite all this, we believe you will find that Google Wave has the potential for making you more productive when communicating and collaborating. Even when you're just having fun! " said Google engineering manager Lars Rasmussen and Group Product manager Stephanie Hannon in a post they say they worked on together with Wave. "We use it ourselves everyday for everything from planning pub crawls to sharing photos, managing release processes and debating features to writing design documents."

For those needing a quick refresh, Google refers to Wave as "What Might Email Look Like If It Were Invented Today." To quote my own previous description: in essence Google Wave works in threads known as Waves where all forms of content are grouped by user/contact groups not type. Information is handled in real time and cross collaboration on documents and presentations can be witnessed each key stroke or mouse click at a time. The platform is open source and the API has been available to developers since May allowing them to build tools such as WordPress plug-ins, games and more.

Such a sheer rush of information sounds terrifying, but Google assures us we already have to do all this every day, just across many different sites using separate programmes and therefore working far less efficiently.

We've in the hat for a Google Wave preview, so fingers crossed we'll be able to let you know if this is the greatest invention since the wheel, or just another Segway...

Update: The Google Wave team has finally put out a shorter video explaining the service. This one is still 10 minutes long, but the previous one was 80 minutes, so count yourself lucky!


Google Blog Post

Go to comments


September 30, 2009, 5:58 am

So will Wave ultimately replace Gmail (albeit quite far down the line) or will the two remain separate?


September 30, 2009, 7:00 am

@smc8788 - maybe one day, but I suspect such a changeover would take so long that it could be 10 years or more. Besides, some people will simply always want just basic email. For the techies it could be an exciting new dawn though... ;)

Michael 8

September 30, 2009, 11:56 am

I can't wait to get my hands on Wave and see it as the perfect collaborative tool for teaching and learning. I even managed to watch the full presentation by Lars et al albeit on a rather slow summers day. Wave provides the same level of integration that made me so happy with my choice of Android for my mobile OS. Hopefully I won't be totally reliant on others taking it up to really enjoy what it can offer.


September 30, 2009, 4:25 pm

Confused? So is this "social" email? The problem with google is they create all these things I really do not want or need.

Mark Horton

September 30, 2009, 4:42 pm

Would love to get hold of an invite.


September 30, 2009, 4:45 pm

@hank - agreed. Like Gmail, Google Maps and the Google Search engine ;)

Wave rolls email, IM, blog posting, Twitter, Maps, Calendar, everything into a single programme and is made by the team behind Google Maps. It could completely change the way we interact on the Web, or it could prove information overload - either way, it will be interesting to find out.


September 30, 2009, 7:16 pm

How odd. I don't see any adverts on the screen grab posted in the article.


October 1, 2009, 2:35 am

Love how Twitter's deluged by people requesting wave invites. Would love to try it out but does seem like one of those things that's only useful when other's have it too. And will this translate to mobile platforms with any success?


October 1, 2009, 4:18 pm

@Mr. Patel - In Google's original demonstration of this *awesome* concept, after demoing it on a Desktop computer they also showed it running, natively in a web browser, on an iPhone and on an Android device. So yes. Unless your mobile platform of choice runs IE as it's incapable of running Wave because of MS' refusal to embrace standards.

Yes, it is only useful if others have it, but then so is email. These things just take time to propogate from the developers, though to the 'techie types', along by the geeks, passed to their families, then into the general population...


October 1, 2009, 7:38 pm

@Cub: apparently Gordon doesn't fit into any of those categories as he doesn't have an invite yet! Hehehe :P


October 1, 2009, 7:39 pm


I thought it didn't run on IE becuase IE's javascript engine was slow. Nothing to do with standards.


October 1, 2009, 7:50 pm

@SB - no it is because IE still doesn't support HTML5

@drdark - only confirmed tech journo to get one so far is the chief tech reporter at the BBC - funny that! I have friends in high places though so got an invite headed my way ;)


October 1, 2009, 8:22 pm

JS performance is one of the reasons: http://googlewavedev.blogspot....

But anyway, does anyone know how to find out when a sybase database was last reloaded ?


October 1, 2009, 8:55 pm

Although, SB is right in that IE's JS engine is pathetic, although HTML5 support is certainly the main reason... They seem still to believe that they will be able to control the internet! The future of the internet is open standards, even Flash is dying a well deserved and long over-due death.


October 2, 2009, 12:39 am

Works in IE with chrome frame.


October 2, 2009, 6:29 am

Death to Flash!

Wait... are we agreeing again? Uh-oh.


October 2, 2009, 11:58 am

Wave is why Google created Chrome Frame for IE, and it works fine unless you fall for MS' scaremongering...

@DrDark - stop this, you're scaring me! Does this mean you're going to buy a Mac? ;-)


October 3, 2009, 3:05 am

@Cub: yeah, f*** it, why not? I'll get a PS3 too, 'cos I just got insulted on a Nintendo forum - sometimes it's not worth bothering.


November 29, 2009, 1:34 am

I don't understand... I've received an invite from a buddy though. God I think I've lost my techgeeknerd mojo. Shall I bother with the the invite or can I sell it on eBay????

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