Google Wave - email, IM and Rich Text in one cloud computing application
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Google's latest and greatest contribution to the online community is called Google Wave.

The application is not currently available to the general public, but has been distributed to developers for their input.

Google Wave has been developed by the same guys who created the widely used Google Maps application, brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen. Lars and Jen were born in Denmark and educated in the USA, however they now work out of Google's Sydney (Australia) office.

Google Wave

What is Google Wave?

Quite simply, it is a "cloud" application which Google hopes will replace email, IM (instant messaging), and Rich Text documents (such as Word Docs etc).

Lars Rasmussen describes Google Wave as being:
"...equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more."
The brothers believe that email is essentially an outdated mode of communication, which is understandable considering it was first used around 40 years ago.

Addressing developers recently, Lars said:
"Email mimics snail mail - you write a message and send it to one or more recipients. Then a client program collates related messages into conversations."
Everyone knows how email works. You create a message, click send, and seconds or minutes later the email arrives at its destination. You choose to reply quickly, or later when time permits. Either way, the sender waits for a response.

Google Wave changes this, by "threading" communication, and allowing others to participate as well - sort of like a combination IM and email message. All your messages, which will be able to include Rich Text content such as images, video etc, can be saved and archived for later retrieval.

For example, if I am communicating with a client via email and need information regarding text for a page, if I email the client, I have to sit and wait for them to reply. With Google Wave, I can open a line of communication in real time, and even see my client type their response. If we need someone else's input, we can include them in the "conversation" as well.

How will we use Google Wave?

Google Wave will be available "in the cloud". Cloud computing is where an application is not installed on your machine, but on a remote server. You access it just like you would on your computer, and create documents etc, but the base application is remote. Google Gears is an example of cloud computing.

Google will also be releasing an "API" for developers so third parties can further enhance the application. They learned from Google Maps where originally it was only accessible from Google, but then allowed developers access - which is why you now see Google Maps embedded in a lot of websites.

Google Wave will apparently be available to developers from the start, which means you could have a Google Wave application embedded in your website and allow communication directly and instantly with potential customers, as well as existing clients.


To preview Google's latest creation, please visit the Google Wave website.

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