Google Wave development stops

The real-time communication tool suffers an early demise

Just over a year after its first announcement

Google Wave was announced at the company’s I/O Developer conference in May 2009 to a huge amount of whooping. It was supposed to be the answer to the problem of information overload seeping into too many separate online communities. Wave’s answer was to combine everything into one platform where people could communicate instantly or through email, as well as work collaboratively on documents in real-time.

But it seems it was all just a bit too far reaching, and now Google has been forced to shut down development on Wave just 15 months after its initial announcement.

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While Wave may have been simply ahead of its time, it was criticised for trying to be too much at once, and suffered from the problem that many people didn’t really know what it was or what it was for, resulting in a poor level of adoption.

Google’s Chief executive Eric Schmidt remained upbeat about Wave’s failure, saying that Google “is a company where it's absolutely OK to try something that's very hard, have it not be successful, and take the learning from that."

Company co-founder Sergey Brin conceded that Wave’s confusing nature was prevalent right at the start, adding that "when they came and proposed this idea they said, 'We want to do something new and revolutionary, but we're not even going to tell you what it is. And we want to go back to Australia, hire a bunch of people and just work on it.' That was a crazy proposal. But, having seen their success with Maps, I felt that it actually was pretty reasonable."

Was Google Wave ahead of its time or just a convoluted mess? Let us know on our Facebook and Twitter feeds