Google rides the Wave until the end

Google has officially ended development of its nascent web-based Wave application due to a lack of user adoption.

“Last year at Google I/O, when we launched our developer preview of Wave – a web app for real time communication and collaboration – it set a high bar for what was possible in a web browser,” explained Senior VP of Google Operations Urs Hölzle.

“We showed character-by-character live typing, and the ability to drag-and-drop files from the desktop, even ‘playback’ the history of changes — all within a browser. But despite these wins, and numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked.”

However, Hölzle emphasized that the platform would be cannibalized for other, ongoing projects.

“The central parts of the code, as well as the protocols that have driven many of Wave’s innovations, like drag-and-drop and character-by-character live typing, are already available as open source. We will [also] work on tools so that users can easily ‘liberate’ their content from Wave.”

So, why did Google’s Wave meet an untimely demise?

Well, Technologizer’s Harry McCracken believes the platform got off to a “rocky start” on the PR front and “never” recovered. 

“It was impossible to sum up in a few sentences. It seemed designed to replace e-mail and other tools that weren’t going to vanish just because Wave had shown up.

“[And] some of its alleged benefits seemed like downsides, like the way it showed you what other people typed character-by-character.”

McCracken added that Wave’s unceremonious death reminded him of Microsoft’s doomed Kin phone.

“[Sure], you can make fun of Google for misjudging what users wanted so badly and for deciding the whole thing was a bad idea only after investing scads of money in it.

“Or you can take a slightly kinder, gentler view: Maybe Google’s willingness to make the embarrassing decision to kill Wave is a sign it wants to do fewer things and do them better.”