Citing slow adoption, Google (GOOG) announced Wednesday on its blog that it is halting development of Google Wave, an innovative email application which combined elements of live chat and real-time document sharing.

When announced in May 2009, Google Wave was lauded as a breakthrough technology which would change the way people communicate online. Members of the development community embraced it, including one who created an amazing online Wave animation using a scene from Pulp Fiction.

But in the Wednesday blog entry, Urz Hölzle, a senior vice president of operations, acknowledged, "despite these wins, and numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked." He said Google Wave would be discontinued 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." He promised developers who had built new kinds of web applications using Wave would be given tools to "liberate" their code from the site.

Finally, he congratulated the team for the ways they had "pushed the boundaries of consumer science." Tech blog Engadget offered a moment of silence for the 'now-fallen experiment' of Lars and Jens Rasmussen, who also created Google Maps.

Aspects of their success will, presumably live on in other Google products, such as Gmail and Google Docs. But Google Wave will now join the ranks of amazing tech innovations that were, sadly, debuted well ahead of their time.

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I saw Google demo this a while back and was amazed. It seemed so powerful I couldn't wait to for it to be released. Then when it finally was I signed up and was dissapointed. It seemed like just another service to enter my personal info into and all the great features were hidden somewhere and not well explained. It feels like an e-mail client that is difficult to use. Now if someone who works in the Internet industry has a hard time visualizing how to use this, how will anyone else?

Google had a great idea, but did a poor job with the executing, roll out, and advertising. Hopefully they have learned, but I kinda doubt it.


August 05 2010 at 1:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply