What Is Google Wave
Back in May of 2010, many people received an invitation to a new Google product, and may have immediately asked themselves, "What is Google Wave?" The online real-time collaboration tool was released by Google in late 2009 for beta testing, opened to the public in May 2010, then suspended in August 2010.
Google Wave was described by the company as equal parts conversation and document. Anyone using the service could create a wave, which could be a document, conversation, photo, map, video or more, then share the wave with their friends and family. From there, each person who had access to the wave could add and edit the wave, as well as invite others to the collaborative process.
The Google Wave project was intended to allow people from around the world to collaborate on projects in real time. Users could instantly add an update to a wave, share it with new users and look back on previous revisions, all within a web browser.
Though many enjoyed the web-based collaboration tool that was Google Wave, in August of 2010, Google announced that due to low usage, they would discontinue building the stand-alone project. Later announcements stated that the Google Wave platform would close at the end of 2010, after which users could no longer use the tool, only export their waves to use in other places.
While Google Wave only operated for a few shots months, it showed the power of real-time internet collaboration possibilities. To continue this method of communication, Google released the engines used to power Google Wave in an open-source version, which could be harnessed by other companies to use as they wish.