Google Wave was once Google's most ambitious projects. That turned out to be its undoing since, while Wave was a technological wonder, it was solution looking for a problem. It promised real-time collaboration, a combination of wiki and chat, and plenty of other advanced features.
But few people actually figured out what to do with the tools at their disposal. Though it was launched to a lot fanfare and its initial, limited release was met with a lot of hype, the excitement quickly died down once people actually got to see it in action for themselves.
It had only been a few weeks since becoming available to everyone
when Google announced that it was getting out
. The project would go on, but Google would not be pouring any more resources into it.
But, even as Wave was open-sourced
and became Apache Wave
, Google still maintained its servers and the service was still available.
Wave users will no longer be able to add anything or edit existing waves as of January 31 next year. The waves will still be accessible and users will be able to get their data out, as a PDF file.
As of April 30, 2012 however, the service will be shut down, and all existing data will become unavailable.
"If you would like to continue using Wave, there are a number of open source projects, including Apache Wave," Google explained
"There is also an open source project called Walkaround that includes an experimental feature to import all your Waves from Google. This feature will work until the Wave service is turned off on April 30, 2012," it said.
Google Wave was one of Google's first big flounders, but the company had the courage to pull the plug fast, something it can't say about products such as Buzz, for example.