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Google Wave Crashes Out on Rocks of Indifference

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Google has announced that it is to cease development on Google Wave, the service launched last year that it claimed would revolutionise the way we communicated online.

The announcement was made in a blog post last night that due to a lack of user uptake, Google would no longer devote resources to the project.

“Despite… numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked,” it wrote. “We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects.

Google said that the as the central parts of the code were open source, its customers and partners were free to continue to develop the platform. For companies that have deployed Wave servers in their organisation and wish to jump ship, Google said it would provide software tools that would enable them to ‘liberate’ their content from Wave.

While a brave and bold experiment, it seems that Wave simply was a solution for a problem no-one had. The hype for Google Wave was immense with the search giant, and Gmail pioneer promising an entirely new way of communicating that would replace both email and messaging in one go.

Initially, access to the Wave beta was via invitation only, and some invites were even reported to have exchanged hands for real money.

However, once inside the 'Wave', users were universally perplexed as to how to use it and what they would use it for. Google admitted on its blog post last night that, “We were… jazzed about Google Wave internally, even though we weren’t quite sure how users would respond to this radically different kind of communication.”

Clearly, befuddled users simply tried it out a couple of times and chose never to return. While the service was fully opened up in May, the lack of interest has led to Google’s decision to pull the plug.

“Wave has taught us a lot, and we are proud of the team for the ways in which they have pushed the boundaries of computer science” Google wrote. “We are excited about what they will develop next as we continue to create innovations with the potential to advance technology and the wider web.”

Did you try Wave more than once? Are you sad to see it go? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

Link: Google blog post.

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