Will Google Wave Be The New Email?
What is Google Wave?
Google Wave is a new communication and collaboration tool that has recently been announced by Google. On May 28, 2009 at the Google I/O conference, the vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra gave the world a first look at the impressive software. Google Wave was introduced as being "what email would look like had it been created today."
The video of the Google Wave's debut is quite long (over an hour), so I am going to summarize the known features of this new software. For those of you who want to watch the video for yourself, I've embedded it below.
Google Wave at the Google I/O Conference
Google Wave's Basics
At its roots, Google Wave is designed to merge email, instant messaging, wiki systems, and social networking. Google Wave is open source, and unlike email, documents (known as "waves") are stored at a central location which everyone must access to edit. Google Wave is said to have a "next-generation" spell-check feature and will be translated in over 40 languages. Also, don't worry Mac and Linux users, Wave will be cross-platform.
Waves are "equal parts conversation and document." Picture a word document merged with your favorite instant messenger to get an idea. Folks can edit their waves simultaneous and can watch other participants do their editing. Then, like a wiki, the wave remembers all past edits and changes allows the participants to revert to an older version if necessary.
So basically, Google Wave is Google Documents, GMail, Google Talk, and Wikipedia all wrapped up in one convenient package to encourage and assist collaboration online.
Release Date of Google Wave
The software's release date has not been officially set, but it was mentioned at the conference that it is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.