Too few users catch Google's 'Wave'

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The Independent Tech

Google on Wednesday said it would cease to develop its freshly launched Wave communications platform that aimed to liberate people from the constraints of traditional email.

The innovative technology was cheered by software developers but did not lure the sea of users that Google had envisioned, according to a blog post by Urs Holzle, a senior vice president at the California-based Internet firm.

"Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked," Holzle said.

"We don't plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects."

Google tested Wave in an invitation-only beta mode for about eight months before making it publicly available in May.

Google heralded Wave's potential to turn email into a powerful tool for collaborative exchanges that ramp up productivity.

Wave 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.

People have reportedly used Wave to share pictures and video in real time; collaboratively craft software applications, and even improve spell-checking of words, according to Holzle.

"The use cases we've seen show the power of this technology," Holzle said. "Wave has taught us a lot, and we are proud of the team for the ways in which they have pushed the boundaries of computer science."

Google is known for daring to invest in new products, services and features and being willing to walk away from those not living up to its hopes.

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