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 17,896.01 91.21 0.51%
Nasdaq 4,773.38 8.00 0.17%
S&P 500 2,072.74 2.09 0.10%
Treasuries 2.18 0.01 0.41%
Data as of 10:36am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Gilead Sciences Inc 96.02 -12.43 -11.46%
Facebook Inc 81.61 1.73 2.17%
Bank of America Corp... 17.61 -0.01 -0.06%
Apple Inc 112.64 0.86 0.77%
General Electric Co 25.62 0.00 0.00%
Data as of 10:21am ET

Sections

Wealthy Russians are buying their way into the U.K. in record numbers as their economy sours and the ruble crumbles. More

Forums in dark corners of the web sell the kinds of hacks that befell Sony. More

Unilever sued Hampton Creek over its egg-free mayonnaise spread Just Mayo. But the company behind Best Foods and Hellman's mayonnaise has now dropped the lawsuit. More

Retired union workers could see their pensions cut under a controversial new law, but many say they're not sure how they'll make ends meet if big cuts go through. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.