Google did it again today, overshadowing Microsoft's Bing search engine offering with what be their most ambitious project yet. Google Wave is described as what email would be like if it were invented right now.
It is a little of everything all mashed up into one giant framework. Wave is part email, IM, calendar, Twitter, wiki, spreadsheets/docs/presentation, picture sharing, social media, forums, maps and just about everything else on the web. In fact, it took an hour and a half to explain the whole thing (below).
It seems pretty apparant that Google wants this to be Gmail 2.0 at some point in the coming years. It will also fit alongside (or over) the current apps for business. But is this a good thing?
Maybe this is my getting old, but I am not sure I am fully buying in yet. When I am rolling out new software to a company, someone always asks, "Why can't the current software just do [what the new software is doing], why do we have to learn yet another application?"
An existential example that usually makes a lot of sense is silverware.
Instead of using a fork, knife and spoon, what if people were forced to just us a spork? Is this the best solution to eating? The software industry is the same way. One tool isn't always better than a combination of different tools.
Perhaps I am stuck in my ways, but I worry that Google is going to trip up on the complexity and ambition of this new program. Even though it is open and available to developers, it might not do everything a person or business needs. Will it play nice with other applications? Will other applications play nice with it?
It's all way too early to tell.
I should say that I am excited about this Google project, however. In fact, I am thinking that the best Internet forum application anywhere could be hammered out of Wave in a few hours...BRB.Related Stories: Google Watch