Google Wave Officially Shut Down

Google has officially shut down Google Wave, a real-time service for sharing docs, sending emails and messages with friends and relatives. Google announced about the shutdown in November 2011, stating that – from January 31, 2012, all waves will be read-only, and the Wave service will be turned off on April 30, 2012. As a part of the shutdown, all Waves will be deleted automatically.

Google launched the online real-time sharing tool back in August 2009. That year, Google Wave was the most anticipated product of the year with people desperate to get their hands on an invite. Google Wave was then released to the general public on May 19, 2010. Despite the hype and intensive publicity, Google Wave failed to survive.

Google Wave was launched in order to compete with Facebook, however, the new networking site didn’t offer features as advanced as Facebook, and it is where it failed to pick up its user base.

Google Wave Officially Shut Down

Google Wave did have some great features in terms of collaboration and editing documents. However, users showed no interest, since they found the service confusing and perhaps not very intuitive. A year after the launch, Google realized that Wave was going nowhere towards success, and thus it finally announced that the Wave project was getting killed.

Later, it was announced that Wave was going to end up as an open source project hosted by the Apache Foundation. Wave did have a lot of great features for collaboration, and the move to open source was welcomed by many.

Now that Google has shut down Wave completely, visiting the page – google.com/wave will redirect you to a support page, where Google explains the two stages of closing down of Google Wave –

Stage 1: Google Wave is read-only — January 31, 2012

In this stage, you will no longer be able to create or edit waves. Marking a wave as read will also not be saved. Robots that try to write to a wave will stop functioning.

During this time, you will continue to be able to export your waves using the existing PDF export feature. You’ll still be able to read existing waves and access the Google Wave client.

If you want to continue using Wave, there is an open source project called Walkaround that includes an experimental feature to import all your waves from Google.

Stage 2: Google Wave shut down — April 30, 2012

In this stage, all the Google Wave servers will be shut down and you will no longer be able to get to your waves. Make sure to export any waves you want to save before that time.

For those users who really loved Google Wave and are interested in continuing to use Google Wave service, the service can be found at the Apache Software Foundation, where development of Wave has continued since 2010. You can take a look at it – Wave In A Box.

Google Misspells Its Own Product Name

Earlier today, Google sent out an email to all Google Wave users, stating that the product has been put in read-only mode and would shut down on April 30, 2012. However, did you notice anything strange in the email? If not, go check that email again. Google has misspelled the name of its own product as “Google Wage” instead of “Google Wave”.  Well, looks like the Google Wave team is under high distress!

Although Google hasn’t responded to this yet, but users across the Web claim that this is just a PR faux pas. It definitely looks very unprofessional, and it is most likely a typo because of the close proximity of the “g” and “v” keys on the keyboard. Users buzzed Twitter with jokes about this embarrassing event, and even created a Twitter hash tag – #googlewage

As the email indicates, this is a reminder email from Google about the shutdown of Google Wave. Google announced over a year ago that development on Wave was ceasing, and the product would be shut down by the end of April, 2012.

Google Wave Typo Email

Dear Wavers,

More than a year ago we announced that Google Wave would no longer be developed as a separate product. Back in November 2011, we shared the specific dates for ending this maintenance period and shutting down Wave. Google Wave is now in read-only mode. This is reminder that the Wave service will be turned off on April 30, 2012. You will be able to continue exporting individual waves using the existing PDF export feature until the Google Wave service is turned off. We encourage you to export any important data before April 30, 2012.

If you would like to continue using Wave, there are a number of open source projects, including Apache Wave. There is also an open source project called Walkaround that includes an experimental feature that lets you import all your Waves from Google. This feature will also work until the Wave service is turned off on April 30, 2012.

For more details, please see our help center.

Yours sincerely,

The Wave Team

© 2012 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043
You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your Google Wave account.

Please note that once Google Wave shuts down, users will be unable to read or retrieve anything on its servers.

Google Wave Gets a Final Wave Goodbye

In August of 2009, Google introduced a new collaboration service called Google Wave with some mystery and a lot of hype. Initially, there was quite a bit of interest in it, but over time, it was obvious to Google that it wasn’t going to be a popular service.  I tried Wave a few times, and even though I thought it was pretty cool, my biggest problem with it was that it was sluggish and simply didn’t offer a good replacement for simple email and social networking, as in Facebook.  A year after the introduction, Google finally announced that the Wave project was getting killed. Later, it was announced that Wave was going to end up as an open source project hosted by the Apache Foundation. Wave did have a lot of great features for collaboration, and the move to open source was welcomed by many.

Yesterday, I received an email from the Wave team which details the final funeral arrangements for Google Wave. Here’s that email in full:

Dear Wavers,

More than a year ago, we  announced  that Google Wave would no longer be developed as a separate product. At the time, we committed to maintaining the site at least through to the end of 2010. Today, we are sharing the specific dates for ending this maintenance period and shutting down Wave. As of January 31, 2012, all waves will be read-only, and the Wave service will be turned off on April 30, 2012. You will be able to continue exporting individual waves using the existing PDF export feature until the Google Wave service is turned off. We encourage you to export any important data before April 30, 2012.    

If you would like to continue using Wave, there are a number of open source projects, including  Apache Wave  There is also an open source project called  Walkaround  that includes an  experimental feature  that lets you import all your Waves from Google. This feature will also work until the Wave service is turned off on April 30, 2012.  For more details, please see our  help center.

Yours sincerely,

The Wave Team

Even though Google Wave was somewhat of a failure, and the next social media project called Google Buzz, also seemed to fizzle out, the newest Google project, Google Plus has had some success. It was designed to compete head-to-head with Facebook and MySpace and I’ve become addicted to it. Below is a video showing an introduction to Google Wave and following that is an introduction to the new Google Plus.

 

 

Google Plus video

If you want to check it out, you can join me on Google Plus and add me to one of your circles.

Google launches their new social service, Google+

If you spend time on Google or any of its services, then you may have seen the new black menu bar. Many wondered if this was just some new design from Google. As it turns out, that black bar is a sign from Google that something big is coming. That something is Google+.

Google+ is the newest of Google’s projects to go into invitation beta. While its not Google’s first run at building a social network, Google+ is probably the most extensive. That doesn’t mean that Google is making a big deal of it yet, however. They are trying to keep it quiet, lest it get the build up to a fail that Wave had. You can take a look at the introductory video here.

From the official blog post, Google+ is really designed around Google itself. Their hope is to redesign the way we share online. They will group people into “Circles”, which you get to organize as you see fit. As of now, it pulls contacts from Gmail or Google Contacts.

Once you have circles set up, you get the ability to interact with those people. You can share images, links, or articles. You can even take advantage of “Sparks”, which will allow you to strike up conversations with people in your Circles. Google + also has a video chat service built in that is called “Hangouts” and a mobile application available for Android devices.

This mobile aspect of Google+ seems vital to the service. Google  promises  the easiest media  uploading  of any social media service. They are also  advertising  the “Huddle” feature, which is similar to texting. unlike traditional text messaging, you use data, similar to BlackBerry Messenger or Beluga.

From what I can tell, the potential for Google+ to be big is there.  What  remains to be seen is whether or not Google+ will actually be successful. As of now, it is in an invitation only beta. In order to check out any of these features, you need to be invited to that beta. I know i have signed up for it and hope to get in soon. If you want to check it out, you can sign up here.

 

Google Launches Shared Spaces, A Stripped Down Version of Google Wave

Remember ? The product Google launched with much fanfare and had to eventually shut down? Well It is called Apache Wave now? No? Well, I don’t blame you for that, but Google did take a big gamble with a futuristic product which was fit for 2020.

Google Shared Spaces

However, move aside Google Wave. Google has quietly launched something called as Shared Spaces. According to their official about page, here is what it is meant to do:

A shared space is an easy way for you to share mini-collaborative applications, like scheduling tools or games, with your friends or colleagues. We’ve put together this slide set to explain more

Now, if you have read our initial impressions about Google Wave, you would have noticed that this smells something familiar? Well gadgets in Wave, without Wave?

Yes, this is exactly what Shared Spaces feels like, gadgets in wave without it. However, don’t expect it to be simple enough to use. I am still trying to figure out this thing, and though it not difficult to use the gadgets itself, I am still wondering how it will be useful. Well, I need sometime to figure this out, you can try it out yourself at http://gadgetspaces.googlelabs.com/. I will write a more in-depth post about this shortly.

You might also want to check the presentation about what Google Shared Spaces is actually about in the embedded screen tour below.

(h/t @steverubel)

Google Groups Revamped, Adds Hints of Google Wave

Google Groups is one of the most popular way to have discussions with people. You can also have private Google Groups which can be used to share ideas or discuss anything between a group of people.

New Google Groups

Since Google Groups had launched, there were hardly any changes made to the UI. However, it looks like Google is now revamping the groups and adding a more user-friendly UI to it. At first glance, the revamped Google Groups show hints of , the failed Google product which is now rechristened as Apache Wave.

The new UI, has a sidebar which allows you to quickly navigate between groups and recently viewed topics. The main topics area has been revamped too to make it easier to browse and reply to threads. The new UI also has a new Overview section which displays the topic summary, links used as references in the post and the conversation thread.

Overall, the new Google Groups UI is pretty easy to navigate and is really fast. You can give the new Google Groups UI a test by visiting this page and clicking on the "Switch to new Groups" button. You can also watch a video embedded below to see what the new Google Groups looks like.

Click here if you can’t see the video. More at the Google Apps blog.

Apache Software Foundation Adopts Google Wave

Google Wave

Remember ? The futuristic communication tool from Google which never took off? Well, it looks like it is going to get a second chance thanks to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).

According to a new submission to the ASF by Novell and few other contributors the new project will be called Wave In a Box (WIAB). The project is in an incubator phase right now and is open to evaluation by the Apache Board.

The initial goals of the WIAB project state that the contributors want to first move the code over from it’s Google hosting repository at code.google.com to Apache’s build systems and then continue development of it.

Apache Wave is the project where wave technology is developed at Apache. Wave in a Box (WIAB) is the name of the main product at the moment, which is a server that hosts and federates waves, supports extensive APIs, and provides a rich web client. This project also includes an implementation of the Wave Federation protocol, to enable federated collaboration systems (such as multiple interoperable Wave In a Box instances).

If you are not sure what Google Wave is, you can read up a hands-on review of Google Wave. The Google Wave project was closed down for good in early August due to lack of user interest. Prior to it, Google Wave received rave reviews from early adopters and geeks alike, however, for a common user it was way ahead of time which is why their user-base quickly diminished.

If everything goes well Google Wave will be rechristened as Apache Wave and will be a hosted, live, concurrent data structure for rich communication which can be used like email, chat or a document.

You can read the entire proposal for Apache Wave here. Source: The Register.

Collaborative Project Management Tool WizeHive Giving Away Premium Accounts To Google Wave Users

Google Wave might have had a short lifespan, and it might have failed to gain significant traction. However, make no mistake, it definitely had its fair share of dedicated users. Although, Google has promised to keep Wave alive till the end of the year, the long term future of Wave is uncertain to say the least. Many users are already speaking out against Google’s decision to axe Wave. In fact, some are even trying to change the search engine giant’s mind through initiatives like SaveGoogleWave.

WizeHive

WizeHive, a Google Wave competitor, has decided to capitalize on the buzz surrounding Wave’s demise to attract new users. If you or your company heavily relied on Google Wave, WizeHive is one of the many collaboration tools you can have a look at. While WizeHive might not have all the fancy features of Wave, it is better organized and offers a more coherent user experience. It allows you to instantly chat with people, share files, collaborate on projects and organize tasks.

In order to grab a premium account, all you need to do is signup for the free account and send an email to [email protected]. The first 500 people to request an account will get their 30-day trial changed into a 1 year standard account worth $588.

Google Wave Crashes: Gets Killed Over Lack of User Interest

Google-WaveRemember Google Wave? The product that many of us thought would change the way we communicate, forever. Sadly, a little more than a year after it was first announced, Google has decided to pull the plug on Wave.

Wave was one of the most hyped web services in recent history. The artificially created scarcity of invites even prompted many to shell our hefty cash for invites to an essentially free service.

I still believe that Wave deserved all the attention it received. It truly was a revolutionary service. Unfortunately, Wave might have been too different for its own good. Many failed to grasp the concept of Wave and struggled to get started, while several others grew frustrated with the chaotic nature of an open ended communication platform like Wave.

Earlier today, Urs Hölzle, senior VP of operations and Google Fellow at Google, acknowledged in a blog post that Wave has not seen the user adoption Google would have liked. As a result of the lack of interest surrounding Wave, Google has decided to pull the plug. Although the standalone service will be available til (at least) the end of the year, Google will not be developing Wave as a product any further.

Over the past few years, Google has tried and failed repeatedly at making inroads into the social web. While Google was busy dealing with one failed product launch after another, Facebook went from strength to strength and is now in a position to dominate not only the social web, but also the web in general. At this point of time, Facebook is quite possibly the biggest threat to Google, and Google knows it. The closure of Wave demonstrates that Google is looking to cut its losses and focus on the impending launch of its new social network – Google Me. Make no mistake, Google Me might be Google’s last chance to fight back. If it fails again, it might be too late to stop Facebook.

Google Wave Extensions Gallery Introduced

Google Wave may not have lived up to its hype but it is still used by millions of people. Today, Google announces the extensions gallery for Wave to enhance the user experience through various Google and third party created add-ons. The gallery can be accessed via the extensions link in the Wave navigation panel on the left hand side.

Google Wave Extensions Gallery

Goolge Wave Extensions

The gallery essentially lists waves containing links to extension installers. All these extensions use the Google Wave API. As the official blog post from Google indicates, the gallery might not be very pretty right now since it is just an initial version. If you are a developer and want to try your luck with a Google Wave extension, you can submit it for review using this link.

You can read complete details and instructions on how to use the installers here. The gallery would definitely make Google Wave users to find extensions they need without searching on Google or opening up a new web page. The gallery currently showcases 18 extensions but its bound to grow pretty rapidly. Do you think offering extensions can help Google Wave do a bit better than it has since it launched?