Google have not just unleashed a new product for their stable. They have taken on the serious challenge of modernising e-mail, the most ubiquitous Internet application yet still standing on a 40-year old e-mail standard.
By releasing Wave as an open protocol Google have truly contributed to the Internet. There can be no vendor lock-in – just like there is no lock-in to any e-mail server or client. There is no barrier preventing third parties developing and releasing wave-compliant servers and clients for individuals and corporations.
I’m convinced Google Wave is the future of online collaboration and that it genuinely provides a modern 21st-century messaging platform using today’s communication formats and technology.
It must be a disappointing blow for Microsoft. Here they were hoping to bring “Bing” into modern parlance, just as Google had entered the global vocabulary. People didn’t search for something, they Googled it. Looking for Googlewhacks was a popular sport. Heck, someone even made a site devoted to whacking Googlewhacks! Google fighting helped determine popularity contests. Google bombs and Google washing were used for nefarious purposes.
Microsoft this week thought they had a competitor to Google. No doubt they had visions of the public “binging” information and maybe even bingwhacking.
Yet, they’re too late. It’s passÃ©. Nobody cares. The next big buzzword isn’t going to be bing. It’s going to be wave. I’ll send you a wave. I’ll wave that file to you. Your parents will wave you photos while on vacation.
It must be asked, has the grey matter gone out of Redmond? Love him or hate him you can’t deny Bill Gates was a strong driving force and steered Microsoft to its monolithic stature. His technical successors, Dave Cutler and Ray Ozzie, are far from household names. Cutler is still to prove Azure has cross-platform appeal and is an environment corporations can trust, while Ozzie's Groove is languishing in obscurity.
Meanwhile, not only has Google already proven it can outpace Microsoft to market, but is showing it can outthink its shrinkwrapped rival.