No bright future for Google Wave?

When Google launched their latest gadget “Wave”, everybody was so keen on getting an invitation – I’ve sent out about 60 invites via my blogs, yet I haven’t been using Wave a lot. Neither in the beginning nor lately: it’s lame (even when used with Chrome, large multimedia Waves are basically unusable on netbooks), it lacks a lot of important features and – most important of all – it’s generally quite unsexy, According to Silicon Alley Insider, I’m not alone with this opinion.

Their Chart of the Day clearly shows a rapidly decreasing number of users, even geeks seem to have abandonned the ship for now. It won’t probably sink any time soon, but it definitely won’t replace e-mail (that’s on of Google’s idea behind the system) in the near future.

This kind of launch scenario is pretty unusual for the big G: usually, when a new service gets launched, an immediate success story follows. Just remember Gmail or Analytics – those products basically took existing services like web statistics or web mail inboxes, improved them in a major way and gave them away for free: Gmail offers nearly unlimited storage, Analytics is a mighty tracking tool (I still prefer Clicky by far though – it’s all about the realtime), but Wave is actually the first genuinely new service which Google has ever offered.

So I wonder if we’re just witnessing a temporary decrease in usage numbers, or if Wave just offers the wrong bells and whistles. Because this might be the first #fail in the company’s history… So what’s your opinion on the future of Google Wave?

2 comments
Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor

I think the problem with Wave right now is that it's just far too early for Google to be rolling it out. Remember, it's still in preview mode, not even beta yet. With that said, I'll fully admit that I was chomping at the bit to get my hands on Wave, and have been left with a bit of the 'ok...what now?' feeling. I'm wondering if Wave is/will factor heavily into the Chrome OS project?

Ritchie Blogfried Pettauer
Ritchie Blogfried Pettauer

True! Analytics and Gmail were full-feature services when Google release them... btw: in the current issue of c't magazin I read an in-depth review about Chrome OS - seems to be more of a "pimped Chrome browser" than a full-fledged OS; what I noticed thought is that Wave (especially when viewing / editing large waves) performs best when used with Chrome. It's a great browser, really - too bad it can't be used for daily biz. After all, no SEO-aware webmaster should do his (dirty) deeds with the "enemy's weapon".