Google's blog announced that Google Wave, the innovative in communication platform released last year, will be now discontinued.
"Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have been liked. We don't plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will then maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for the use in other Google projects. The central parts of the code, as well as the protocols that have been driven many of Wave's innovations, like drag-and-drop and character-by-character live typing, are already available as a open source, so customers and the partners can continue the innovation we began."
Google Wave has a lot of the interesting features, but the interface is confusing and difficult to use. While many thought that Google Wave will reinvent email, Google's service combined as an online document editor with an instant messenger. Google Wave allows you to create "live" documents that are edited collaboratively in the real-time, but it's more than a conversational version of the Google Docs. It's based on an open protocol, so you can edit a wave using the multiple services. It's extensible so you can build gadgets and robots that add the new functionality.
Google Wave had a lot of potential, but Google didn't manage to build a compelling user that experience and define some use cases for the application. Instead of building a general-purpose interface for the Google Wave, Google could've used the platform to create the multiple applications with clearly-defined goals: a new version of the Google Chat, a new version of the Google Docs, a brainstorming app etc.
Now that Google Wave is discontinued, some of its feature will be added to the other Google services (Gmail, Google Docs), but the platform will now vanish. It's clear that Google doesn't want to invest in the niche services, which is a big opportunity for the startups. "We want to do things that matter to a large number of the people at the scale," said Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, in an interview.