Google sets Wave free

Google on Wednesday opened to the world an innovative Wave communications platform that liberates people from the constraints of traditional email.

"We are going to open up Wave to everyone today," Google Wave team chief Lars Rasmussen said as the California-based Internet giant's annual developers conference got underway in San Francisco.

"Wave really shines as a place to get work done."

Google has been testing Wave in an invitation-only beta mode for about eight months and has heralded its potential to turn email into a powerful tool for collaborative exchanges that ramp up productivity.

People can sign up for Wave online at wave.google.com.

Google Wave product manager Gregory D'Alesandre made his case late last year that Wave will help "liberate" workers from constraints of old-fashioned ways at firms.

In September, Google began inviting people to test Wave, which merges email, online chat, social networking and "wiki" style group access to Web pages or documents.

With the Wave, email or instant messages blossom into shared online arenas where anyone in the exchange can edit documents, add digital content, or comment at any time.

"You can have 12 people interacting in a Wave at the same time without people talking over each other or stepping on each others' toes," D'Alesandre said.

"We really believe this is a better way to communicate; where technology is going."

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