In a post the day before yesterday on the Google Blog Urs Holzle, Senior Vice President, Operations & Google Fellow, provides an Update on Google Wave. As it stands now Google will stop development on the Google Wave platform and provide tools to liberate the data from Google Wave. This decision has been made due to users not adopting Google Wave to the extent they would have wanted. Urs Holzle emphasizes that many of the protocols and technologies have already been made open source and that they hope that developers will continue to innovate on top of the technology.
I find this very interesting. First of all there was no end to the amazement and hype that was built around Google Wave when it was first announced. Second of all it looked like very cool technology though a lot of discussion was being had on the applicability to business and how it would fit in. Would it be the next killer application and what e-mail would become down the road? Sadly the technology never stuck and we will never know.
The announcement is however also interesting from a Lotus perspective.
As you might remember IBM unveiled Project Concord at Lotusphere 2010. Project Concord is IBM Lotus' next generation web collaboration environment which also featured live character-by-character typing etc. Many of us thought of Project Concord as being a clear response to Google Wave and a way to compete with Google in that (new) space. Now that Google is halting development of Google Wave what will happen to Project Concord? Will it be left for dead as well as the technology has been proved inadequate or "not wanted" or will it provide a clear opening for IBM Lotus to pursue? Does IBM Lotus have some "other stuff" up its Project Concord sleeve that will prove it to be the killer platform that will replace e-mail as we know it. I guess only time can tell.
R.I.P. Google Wave - we loved you although we never really got to know you...