Google Wave to close down following lack of demand


Google Inc. will end development of its Wave service, which lets users share images and documents, because customers were slow to adopt the technology. Google launched the real-time web collaboration tool at its annual I/O developer conference last year.

The company acknowledged that despite huge internal excitement over the possibilities offered by Wave, the tool did not catch on with users. “Google Wave set a high bar for what was possible in a web browser,” wrote Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of operations at Google in a blog post.


“We showed character-by-character live typing, and the ability to drag and drop files from the desktop – even “playback” the history of changes.

“We were jazzed about Google Wave internally, even though we weren’t quite sure how users would respond to this radically different kind of communication,” he admitted.

“But despite numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a stand-alone product.”

Hölzle said that Google would continue to support the product until at least the end of this year, and would enable the technology that underpinned Wave to be used in other Google projects, and by third-party developers.

He also said that Google would develop a tool to help existing Wave users to “liberate” any content they had archived in Wave so it could be saved elsewhere.

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