After Buzz fizzles out, will public lap up Google Wave?
Google has opened its much-hyped Wave service to the general public for the first time.
Google Wave is a fusion of email, instant messaging, discussion group and document sharing, that’s designed to help teams of people collaborate on projects. The service also includes a selection of ‘extensions’, that add anything from shopping lists to video conferencing to Wave.
It was announced to enormous fanfare last May, with the company labelling it as “the next step” in online communication, and with invites to the service changing hands for £55 on eBay at one stage.
Since then, the hype around the service has died off, with many of its features being amalgamated into the poorly received Google Buzz.
Now Wave is being opened up to anyone with a Google account in an attempt to breathe new life into the concept.
Google claims that users have quietly found all manner of uses for Wave over the past year, including writing software code, virtual art classes and gaming.
The company claims the service is also much more reliable than when it first appeared to mixed reviews last year. “If you tried Google Wave out a while ago, and found it not quite ready for real use, now is a good time to come back for a second try,” said Stephanie Hannon, Google Wave product manager on the company’s blog. “Wave is much faster and much more stable than when we began the preview, and we have worked hard to make Wave easier to use.”