Google Inc. said Wednesday it is pulling the plug on its “Google Wave” collaborative messaging service due to a lack of user interest. Although the innovative Google Wave was launched with great fanfare a year ago at the company’s Google I/O conference, the company acknowledged that it had never quite caught on with the general public as a replacement for email and real-time collaboration.
“Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked,” Senior Vice President Urs Holzle said in the blog post. “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.”
Wave’s primary feature was to let users collaborate in real time, using an in-box-like interface that resembled a mix of Google’s Gmail Web mail service, and its Docs and Spreadsheets product. Each strand of messages, which could include text, links, and photos, was called a wave. Google launched the product with an API for developers to build extra functionality in the form of extensions that users could turn on and off.
But despite these wins, and numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked,” Urs Hölzle, Google’s senior vice president of operations and a Google fellow, said in a blog post. “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 was also initially unable to present the code for early review, leading to speculation of its capabilities. Google said that much of the code had already been presented as open source, so that other developers already had access and could integrate it into their own projects.
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