RIP Google Wave

By Stacy Cowley, tech editor


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Google's attempt to reinvent e-mail has fizzled. The company said Wednesday it is pulling the plug on Google Wave, a collaborative tool that drew intense attention when it debuted last year.

"Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked," Urs Hölzle, Google's senior vice president of operations, wrote in a post on the company's blog. "We don't plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects."

Launched last May at Google's annual I/O developer conference, Google Wave took a whole bunch of communications tools -- e-mail, instant messaging, wiki collaboration, blog publishing and so on -- and threw them in the blender to create a new message system. A group conversation became a "wave," with participants able to suck videos, maps, images and other multimedia elements into their discussion. Conversations could happen in real time or through replies sent later.

Though officially still in "developer preview" and only available by invitation, Google Wave sparked thousands of articles and blog discussions -- at one point, invitations to the site were selling on eBay. Tech watchers debated whether the system was an e-mail killer. "This is Google's best shot at a ubiquitous mainstream product since Google Maps," Time magazine wrote in its review. "It won't replace e-mail, but it deserves a spot in any office warrior's arsenal."

But users struggled to wrap their heads around Wave's array of power tools. "We're still not entirely certain what Google Wave is for -- or even if humans are capable of comprehending it," Engadget commented five months after the launch.

Wave's core technologies have been open-sourced and will live on, Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) pledged: "Wave has taught us a lot, and we are proud of the team for the ways in which they have pushed the boundaries of computer science," Hölzle wrote in Google's blog. "We will work on tools so that users can easily 'liberate' their content from Wave." To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,203.37 -85.26 -0.47%
Nasdaq 4,979.90 -28.20 -0.56%
S&P 500 2,107.78 -9.61 -0.45%
Treasuries 2.12 0.04 1.82%
Data as of 7:38pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.04 0.03 0.19%
Apple Inc 129.36 0.27 0.21%
Ford Motor Co 16.17 -0.40 -2.41%
Cisco Systems Inc 29.54 -0.65 -2.15%
Microsoft Corp 43.28 -0.60 -1.37%
Data as of 4:02pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

The historically black school will cover 50% of the cost of a a student's final semester if they graduate early or on time, starting next year. More

ISIS and jihadi videos on YouTube were running ads for things like Secret, Aveeno and Bud Light. The companies -- and YouTube -- said this was a mistake. More

Find yourself suddenly holding one big lump sum of cash? Here's what you need to know to make sure your money is invested the way it should be. More