Google Wave Is Dead

Google Wave has officially been discontinued. RIP

When Google Wave launched (in May of last year), it was one of the most incredibly hyped products to hit the technology scene in years. That hype started when Vic Gundotra (Google VP of Engineering) showcased the new platform at the Google IO conference. However, despite Google’s best efforts to pull in user/dev adoption of the platform, it never really took off. Even after Google’s last-ditch effort when they dropped the invite-only status, the Wave still failed to pick up any additional steam.

With that, yesterday, Google announced they have shut down the development of the product and plan on dropping all support for it by the end of this year. The code and technology behind the product will remain on Google’s servers indefinitely as an open-source platform, but gone for good are its stand-alone web app days. For concerned “heavy users” of Wave, Google is developing export tools so the data will not get lost when the service goes down for good.

This development wasn’t hard to see coming. Nearly every Wave user I interviewed had not figured out what to do with Wave, not to mention its mediocre performance. Even on popular social network sites such as Digg, despite many comments, the unanimous opinion was that “Wave” was an innovative but useless product.

It’s kind of like the baby mop outfit. I mean, sure, it “looks” like an excellent idea. But who’s going to put their kid in one? Besides, once they learn to walk, then it’s pretty much obsolete. :)

Goodbye, Google Wave. What else do you have in your bag of tricks, Vic?



  1. Mark @ Alchemy United

    August 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Shame really. So now we’re back to being stuck with a 20th century technology – that’s based on an ancient concept – for a collaboration tool? Email sucks at this point, and that’s putting it kindly. Wave was a far more naturally and productive communication tool. It failed because its very nature was one of collaboration and involvement. So unless your whole “team” had access it was a no go – 9 out of 10 wasn’t good enough.

    If Google was wise they should have killed gMail :) Someone needs to do it, it might as well be Google. At least they have/had a better mouse trap.

  2. Shockersh

    August 5, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    I liked it but couldn’t find anyone to share a wave with me….. Oh well, back to email.

  3. EpicArnold

    August 5, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    The whole reason email works is because it ISN”T real-time.. I mean was Google Wave really any different than a glorified instant messenger? I mean, I have Google Talk that sends people offline messages once they login, why would I need to use wave?

    • Mark @ Alchemy United

      August 6, 2010 at 5:38 am

      Because Wave is about collaboration… real time or otherwise. It makes it easy to have people jump in mid-stream. It’s centralize so there’s no “oh, I didn’t get that email”. Wave fixed so many things that suck about “reply all” email, or even an email one-to-one conversation. Why does a “conversation” take 10 or more DIFFERENT emails?

      And that’s the problem really, people are confusing email with Wave. Email was 20th century (at best), Wave was what online communication should be in 2010.

      • Vadim

        August 6, 2010 at 9:25 pm

        I have to agree on this one. I think what WAVE gave you was “rich” group chat in realtime + image and document sharing all built into 1 interface.

        That being said, I agree with Shocker in that the performance was never what it needed to be and I personally found that the “Waves” became to large and unwieldy. I think overtime we would have figured out how-to use it but I guess now we wont have that chance.

        • Mark @ Alchemy United

          August 8, 2010 at 8:51 am

          Oh, yes, it wasn’t perfect. But it’s still better than email. We’ve hit the ceiling with email a long time ago. Was Wave R&D-esque? Yes, and all the more reason to press on and get it right. Email isn’t really going anywhere. Name me one other technology/service that hasn’t changed all that much on 15+ years. If someone said, “I’m on Windows 98…” we’d laugh. Well, how does, “I like email…” differ? :)

  4. DW96

    August 5, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    They had to integrate it into Google Talk in my opinion. Then everything would be very neat. Just like Mark said – they should have killed gMail.

    • MrGroove

      August 7, 2010 at 1:16 pm

      Hmm…. I think it would be a HUGE mistake to kill off GMAIL. Remember, GMAIL is in place for a very specific reason; none of which is to just give away from Email.

      Think about what a company can do with all the data that is gathered from offering a free email client.

      1 – Google Ads can be displayed through the client
      2 – Data can be harvested regarding what people are talking about and interested in
      3 – Relationship mapping can be created (MrGroove talks to this person and that person talks to that person etc…)
      4 – Email Address Harvesting is automatic and free. As soon as a gmail account sends someone an email (non gmail account) and that person responds, they have a valid email address they can now sell or market against. And of course if someone send someone with a GMAIL account an email, tadaa, they now have a valid email address they can sell or market against etc…
      5 – Brand recognition – Remember, any advertising is good advertising… GMAIL / Google, yeah… using GMAIL you are that much more likly to use Google’s other services like Calendar, Google Docs, Google Search, Google Picasa, Google Wave (Oops… that’s dead sorry)
      6 – Stepping stone into Google Apps for corp users – If your familiar with the interface since the wee age of 10 or 12….. when you grow up guess what app platform you will use!!!

      So yeah, GMAIL is going NO WHERE PERIOD and if Google ever things about dumping it like Google Wave I’m going to instantly sell short on the GOOG stock because their management team would have lost their minds!

      • Mark @ Alchemy United

        August 8, 2010 at 8:54 am

        MrGroove, the kill gmail was not to be taken literally. That said, see my comment above about Windows 98 and email. So you’re going to sell Google because they ditch the horse for a car? How’s the Windows 98 workin’ out for ya? :)

  5. Mark @ Alchemy United

    August 6, 2010 at 5:44 am

    I’d also like to add that Google shot themselves in the foot. If they keep pulling the plug on new products/services less and less people are going to sign on. I know I’ll think twice next time. Sure you’ll always have the hipster early adopters but that’s not where a product takes off, is it?

    It’s ironic, isn’t it? The mighty Google finally invents a great, new, groundbreaking idea. They don’t know how to market it and grow it. so then they kill the idea. Once they kill gmail then they should probably sack their marketing dept too. Wave deserved more than this.

    • Vadim

      August 6, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      Just wait, it might be dead in name only. I’ll bet they will roll the features and functions into a new product like GMAIL or BUZZ or Google Talk. The code won’t die, just the brand died.

      • Mark @ Alchemy United

        August 7, 2010 at 10:59 am

        Yes, agreed that the code and concepts will probably live on. But I still believe that if they continue to cut & run like this there will be those of us who will wait even longer before giving a Google product/service a shot. Heck, i was waiting for them to open it up so I could get more of my project/clients on board. Instead they killed it. That’s crap really.

        • MrGroove

          August 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm

          Agreed. Not to mention the egg on your face if you were pushing the concept to customers, clients or colleagues (like I was)…. They should have given it at least another few years being that they had only JUST introduced it into Google Apps.

        • Mark @ Alchemy United

          August 8, 2010 at 8:58 am

          I did champion it as an idea but only used for certain clients/projects as a way to prototype the idea and see if it worked. It wasn’t perfect but I am SO OVER email for collaboration and projects. I hurts more than it helps. FWIW I actually tried using NING as a project tool but haven’t been able to decide if it’s doable or not.

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