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Google Wave and the Death of Email

Normally I’m not a big fan of the marketing hoopla surrounding announcements about upcoming technology. But after I watched the 90 minute Google Wave demonstration, I was awed. It’s not every day you hear about someone discussing replacing something as ubiquitous as email.

The fatal flaw in most of Google’s offerings is that companies lose control of their data. This is the problem with cloud computing as well. There’s all sorts of privacy and legal issues when you use remote data storage. This is why I’ve always felt cloud computing is something of a pipe dream.

Google Wave, on the other hand is different. It’s not a Google service, per se. It’s an open protocol more along the lines of a mixture of email and IM. It appears to be based on a modified version of XMPP. Here’s a summary:

1. Take everything you know about email and throw it away.
2. Email becomes a wave (side note: people that use email as an IM client are annoying)
3. IM becomes wave.
4. Wiki becomes a wave.
5. Blogs become a wave.
6. Documents (text, spreadsheet, etc) become a wave.

This has the potential to completely replace the way we view communication on the Internet. The demo (in the link above) is nothing short of amazing. But the best part is that it’s an open protocol and each company can run their own wave server. This means it is actually usable in the corporate world.

There’s a couple of news articles out there that try to explain it using in text format, but if you really want to wrap your head around the concept, it’s best to watch it in action in the demo. If you’re any kind of tech geek, it will be 90 minutes well spent.

Now I’m ready to set up a Wave server… no more MS Outlook.

General, Google APIs

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