Will 'Wave' Spell End of Gmail, Google Docs?

by CXOtoday Staff    May 29, 2009

Google is set to disrupt the world of communications with an audacious plan to unite instant messaging, e-mail, and document collaboration. But will Wave signify the end for Gmail and Google Docs?

Wave is the brainchild of brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen, who previously developed the hugely popular application — Google Maps.

Wave is intended for both business and casual users.

Lars defined Google Wave as equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps .

This is how it will work. A user creates a wave and adds people to it. Everyone on the user’s wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly, with edits appearing in almost real-time, similar to IM. The document editing feature will especially appeal to workers who are collaborating on a project.

Google said it is planning to make Wave’s code open source to encourage the developer community to get involved.

Wave was showcased yesterday by Google at a developer preview. A launch date has not been announced, but Lars said Google is planning to spend a number of months working on it.

If Wave is released and becomes popular, something not many critics are betting on right now, will there still be a need for Gmail and Google Docs. Google is risking drawing users away from these two services, unless it has some other plans up its sleeve. Time will tell.


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