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Google Kills Wave

Google yesterday pulled the plug on Wave, the company's effort to provide a shared online communications hub.

Released to beta last year, Google Wave never appeared to gain critical mass. That point was something the company acknowledged this week when announcing the demise of Wave.

"Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked," said Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of operations and a Google Fellow, in a blog posting. "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 Wave attempted to create an online destination where users could share discussions, e-mails, photos and voice communications. Google Software Engineering Manager Lars Rasmussen described Wave at the company's developer conference last year. He explained that like many other social networks, Google Wave allowed individuals to create networks by invitation.

"It allows for both collaboration and communication," Rasmussen noted at the time. "The HTML 5-based app was based upon the Google Web Toolkit. The drag-and-drop editor allowed users to drag and drop content, such as photos, into a 'wave'," Rasmussen noted.

He also positioned Google Wave as a platform that would allow developers to use its APIs to embed "waves and other web services and to build new extensions that work inside waves."

Hölzle said that Google is encouraging open source developers to work with the platform.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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