back to article Apathy kills Google's new-age Wave

Google is closing down development of its new-age communications platform Wave due to lack of interest. The Chocolate Factory said Wednesday that it's stopping development of Wave as a stand-alone product because of a lack of user adoption. The Wave site is being put on life support until the end of the year, with the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Lack of interest?

    Or maybe it was just another badly thought-out, half-arsed piece of crap software. Same as all Google software.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      At the risk of feeding the troll....

      That's right. Shitty code, like the search algorithms, GMail, Android and Google Maps.... All of which are far inferior to Bing/Yahoo, Hotmal/YahooMail, Windows Mobile/Symbian and <insert shit online map app here>

      That is all.....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Oh dear

      Looking at the amount of vote-downs it seems I have upset a few fanbois with a healthy dose of truth.

      1. TomP


        Why on earth would anyone be a "fanboi" for search engines / email / online mapping? Maybe lots of people like it and use it because it works, and is generally better than the competition? Sounds more like you have an anti-Google agenda, rather than anyone else being particularly pro-Google.

      2. Kaemaril
        Big Brother


        I thought the amount of vote-downs was due to the healthy dose of nonsense, to be honest.

        (Not a 'fanbois' of google, btw. Some stuff they do is OK. Other stuff ... not so much. Wave, despite some initial promise, seemed to fit squarely in the latter category)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        not upset just disagreement..Whilst I also am of the habit of saying I could do better, 'I' do think that in comparisson with the other (free) alternatives google do some things very well.

        Note that I don't wish to change your mind or persuade you otherwise. I just wish to express My disagreement with your view of the truth.

      4. Henry 4

        Not a "Fan Boy"

        I hate the deliberately misspelt "fanboi" tag... So childish. I happen to be a google services user, and do have slight concerns about privacy and exposing too much info to a search and ad provider, but please "shitty code"? Get real, as a proprietary software provider they are no worse and IMHO far better than most proprietary or open-source providers.

        Please justify your assertions, without resorting to the hurrr-durrr google is shit and <insert competitor here> are far better.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Dear fanbois

          Thanks for the huge list of great Google products. One problem: most of them seem to have come from companies that Google bought. See the difference there? Bought vs produced. Nice trick if you can get away with it.

          Fanbois, got to love their blind faith.

    3. The BigYin

      It was interesting... just didn't solve comms problem any better than anything else. And some of the features just sucked donkey ball (showing people what you type, as you type? Pun-leeze).

      It was newsgroups for Web 2.0 and it managed to not be as good as newsgroups.

      Oh, and not havig stand-along apps was a fail. I don't want my comms in a browser, I want them integrated to my device/desktop.

      I am sure that we'll see components/ideas in other offerings despite it's problems.

      Want to solve my comms problems? Give me voice, video, instant messaging and email; all integrated. Encrypted, based on Open Standards and working seamlessly with MS Office (no matter how good OpenOffice is (and it is pretty good, i use it at home) it does not format/render documents etc *identically* to MS Office and some of us have to use it....grr...).

  2. SilverWave

    Andriod:WIN. Wave:Fail. Google Maps:Win. Gmail:Win.

    Win some lose some.

    1. Peter H. Coffin
      Thumb Down


      I can't wait to hear the verdict on Buzz..

    2. Charles Manning

      Experimentation doesn't always kick up a winner

      Edison's thousand crap lightbulb ideas and all that.

      While Wave and Buzz didn't catch on, at least it shows Google are prepared to play with some new ideas.

      Who else is experimenting in the software arena? And don't say MS.

      1. JDX Gold badge
        Gates Halo

        re:Who else is experimenting in the software arena? And don't say MS.

        MS. Did you not see only the other day:

        Mind, it was the first piece of experimental stuff I've seen from them for ages (other than stuff like F# on the developer side).

    3. Justin Clements


      Google Buzz - fail

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Google Sky:Win - Docs:Win - Streetview:Win - Buzz:Fail


  3. Ole Juul

    Wave goodbye

    It seems to me that anything that requires such a lot of talking to explain is doomed from the beginning.

    1. Rosco

      Talk talk talk

      Did you ever tried explaining email or the internet to someone over 60, 10 years ago?

      1. Rosco

        Declare my position

        I should note that I also thought Wave was shit. I tried it, gave up quickly, tried again and finally ditched it for good with a sad shake of the head. It was dreadful.

        I just don't think that being hard to describe necessarily makes something doomed from the outset.

  4. John Burton


    The idea was good but the implementation didn't really work very well. Plus it needed to integrate with ordinary email a lot better.

    Hopefully some ideas will arise from the ashes of this and something great will happen :)

  5. riCh chestMat


    So anyway this caused me to post something on Wave for the fist time in 8 months.

    What's the icon for "mef" Sarah?

  6. Blake Davis

    How long until it's gone?

    I've rather enjoyed using Wave. How long until new Waves cannot be created? Edited? Is it going to be shutdown completely?

  7. Chris Haynes


    I just asked my friend if he'd heard of Google Wave. He said, "I got an invite and I couldn't understand it so I didn't bother again. It seemed a bit pants."

    I, too, had an invite, saw nothing of interest in it, and haven't used it in months.

    1. A. Lewis


      This seems to be the story. Got an invite, played with it once, never looked at it again.

      I know that's the case for me. I thought it was like a really good e-mail client, but without an e-mail address to make it useful!

  8. Sampler

    Invitation Only

    Kinda ruined an application you need other people you know on to work properly - from my experience anyway - yeah I had invites I could hand out but that made it "fiddly" and "geeky" to my non-monitor tanned friends.

    1. Davros

      slow, buggy, unusable - lack of invites saved me embarrassment

      The lack of invitations was a big problem early - I had an invite but nobody else I knew. But as wave was slow, buggy and confusing, I decided to wait for a better release.

      Several months later I got more invites and tried again - still slow, buggy and hard to use. I lodged bug reports and voted up feature requests.

      A month ago wave added to my apps domain so all my colleagues could use it. But it was still slow, buggy and hard to use. Bugs I saw and reported months ago still present.


      The poor invites process did hurt wave. But its deeper problems are what killed it. In the end the lack of invites mainly saved me embarrassment by limiting the number of people who's time I wasted.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    a shame

    The general idea - of blending chat, email, collaborating on documents, etc., into a single thing - was a good one.

    But the execution was woeful. It's not much use unless it's accessible to all your friends/colleagues - and the invitation scheme didn't deliver that (well, not at the right time). The main round of invitations came out before it was really ready. The tutorials were too long and dull. I don't want to watch a video. It didn't integrate with anything else, so you HAD to learn that new interface, and you got no notifications when there was new stuff on your waves - so you had to go looking. And the procedure for adding the interesting gadgets was truly arcane, so for most people it looked like nothing other than a slightly confusing chat system.

    The idea deserves to come back - maybe in an extended version of gmail. A much more incremental roll-out could make it quite attractive.

    1. jake Silver badge

      @Andrew Martin 1

      "The general idea - of blending chat, email, collaborating on documents, etc., into a single thing - was a good one."

      Nah. We tried that back in the early '70s. See RFC 196, for one, and the XeroxPARC Alta's Pup protocol, et alia ... It didn't take half a decade to figure out that separate protocols and interfaces/methodologies for different communications methods just makes more sense than trying to unify 'em into one.

      Note I'm talking interface and presentation here, not transport ...

      1. Anonymous Coward


        well, the history of computing is all about re-inventing wheels... (both the round ones, and the less successful polygons)

        but there *are* integrations that work - mail and calendar in Outlook or Thunderbird, for example. Or Facebook, which is part homepage, part instant message, part usenet, part photo-sharing, part link-sharing, part spam-laden crapware.

  10. petrosy


    I thought WAVE was pretty good. My only issue with it was the fact that GMAIL was not integrated into it. I did not want to juggle 2 email systems.

    Had GMAIL worked with in WAVE I think they would of had a much better response.... kind of silly they did not do it, maybe there was some technical reason for it I don't know?

  11. Adrian Esdaile

    Solution looking for a problem

    And not even a very good solution.

    You are the weakest link. Goodbye.

  12. Rubyatwork

    Needed integration to work

    Wave's biggest problem was that you needed a separate login. If they had rolled out Wave as a feature of Gmail, it might have taken off. It was too much hassle to keep track of email logins and Wave logins and separate conversations in each.

    1. Geoff 25

      just IMHO

      I thought wave's biggest problem was that is required moving the whole communication into the googleverse. With gmail I can communicate with people that don't have gmail accounts even, occasionally, hotmail users.

  13. Lars Petersson

    Interesting app, shame it failed...

    It was an interesting application that very much had a niche audience, IMO; namely teams that are spread out over a geographically large area.

    Too niche unfortunately...

    1. bygjohn

      Even for that

      I work as part of a team spread out geographically, and we tested it briefly. It didn't really do anything any better than our existing tools, and I for one hated the real-time typing thing: all it did was expose how clumsy I am with my two fingers and a thumb!

      Plus all that scripting and whatnot was leaving it wide open to hacks etc in the long run. Solution looking for a problem.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Badgerbadgerbadgerbadger eeuuuuuu ssssnake!

    The only person I ever spoke to who was enthusiastic about Wave was a friend who was just going through the first flush of a social networking obsession and had also just bought herself an iPhone. My god that was a nauseating few hours. On top of that she had slagged me off back in the day for using LiveJournal ("Oh my god why don't you just go to the pub and speak to people in real life like everyone else you total geek?").

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Vindication, of a sort

    I know an "IT person" who is a non-stop fan of anything Google puts out, and at the time of it's release was both praising it and repeating the marketing speak about how e-mail was obsolete and this was the "wave" of the future.

    Big hint---if people really don't understand what your product is and it takes several tutorial videos to even grasp the concept, it's not gong to work. Maybe some good ideas, but a woeful execution.

    Showing people character by character text messages was interesting but was it necessary, other than to see how poor a typist most of us really are? And like most people I was scratching my head---the document collaboration was useful, but aside from that just what to do with it?

    It was also ironic (as many people are pointing out) that it didn't integrate with the e-mail it was supposed to replace. Sigh...I'd show this to that IT person but he's already forgotten about it and is on to the next widget that will save the world.

  16. iamapizza


    For similar functionality within an office network, there is OneNote - it doesn't have a browser's limitations so is much easier and simpler to use and of course the content it supports is much richer. Wave was limited by JS and HTML and so it was a slightly weaker collaboration tool.

    BUT, Wave was better for talking and sharing with people who weren't within the office network. I'm a bit surprised that there wasn't enough adoption!

  17. Chris Donald

    Never understood it..

    I got used to Facebook, halfway used to Twitter (as in seeing the point-I barely do still), and like Tumblr for simple articles that look silly posted only on FB.

    However, despite using other Google software for years, the Wave never actually made sense. It never broke over the rock of my understanding or made a splash in my online life.

    Can anyone explain where your meant to go or what you are meant to do with this thing? :-).

  18. Lunatik

    Still don't know what Wave was...

    Google, you baffle and delight in equal measure. Don't stop trying though.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you build it...

    they may not necessarily come.

  20. graeme leggett Silver badge

    Tried it briefly

    Didn't get on with the interface or anything out of it so stopped using it. So I guess user apathy is right.

  21. mark a.


    I liked Wave. It kept topics of conversations together without having to search through subject headers in email.

    I wonder what will happen to Wave? Will all my waves be archived? At least with email I can have an offline copy on my computer.

  22. vodka 1


    ah yes wave..possible worse then a android owning fanboy as well but wtf ?

  23. Dr Who

    Big shame

    The really big idea behind Wave was federation of the platform. Increasingly we rely on monolithic platforms such as Google Apps and Facebook. With Wave, we could all run our own Wave servers but still communicate with each other, much as we do with email.

    Sooner or later email must die. Something will need to replace it. Much as we don't want to rely on a single company to provide all of the world's email or DNS services, we won't want to rely on a single company to provide our messaging/collaboration services. Wave may not be the answer, but we will need something along similar lines.

  24. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    At least they're trying...

    At least they're trying - it's better to try new things and see what value can be made from them than sticking with the same old crap and avoiding all forms of innovation. (i.e. MS Outlook - still featuring many of the same bugs and savage usability problems as it did 10 years ago)

    So some things don't work out - lessons can be learnt, better plans made next time and anything useful in it may be useful in the future. This is much better than stagnation.

  25. Mr Brush


    I worked on two small projects that used Wave™ to plan and coordinate the progress.

    It seemed to work quite well at first, but then the Wave just became huge and hard to navigate.

    I hope that some of the tech resurfaces somewhere, but I won't miss it.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    invitation only.

    My opinion would have likely been 'meh', it often is to google and apple stuff, but this idea of exclusive invites just pushes me away.

    I don't needlessly sign up for stuff and give my email to yet another marketing dept (at best - or spam merchant at worst) so as a result i am not on any early adopter lists and did not get an invite to wave or spotify.

    As a result, I wont go to the trouble of installing wave since i don't know what it is supposed to be and i am quite happy with pirate bay over spotify as most people i know listen to rubbish music.

    The concept that a company will exclusively allow me to be their customer is absurd! Its like queuing to get into a shop to buy something. Wave is an example of when the company believes its own hype too much.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh hum!

    It was an interesting idea, although fellow monitored tanned folk didnt really get into it and figure out cool things to do with it.

    One of its main failings is that it wasnt integrated. no single sign on intergration with other google products - i seem to recall it didnt even mail you to let you know there had been an update!?

    have they shut down Buzz yet, or what everther their twitter like service was?

    and finally, is it just me or is google groups also not the best implementation of discussion groups/forums/bbs the world had seen either?

    however, as others have said... Search, Mail, Map/Street View are great. From a revenue perspective the Ads have been a sucess and sometimes to give you interesting and relveant ad links related to mail/searched

    1. Sean Bergeron

      Orkut whistles quietly in the background

      With toys made from gears.

      But, seriously, being one of the older crowd, we still do lots of comms among friends via never-dead (until someone reboots the host) GNU Screen + BitchX. My much younger betrothed uses Facebook and SMS. Solution in search of a problem.

  28. Tom_


    '"You will forget you are looking at a browser," he concluded.'

    That's not a selling point for the 6.999 billion people who don't give a shit what a browser is.

  29. Barry Lane 1

    Shame, really

    My disabled daughter's trust manages all her day-to-day admin work via Wave, keeping trustees, family and friends in touch. The trust's regular meetings are minuted and available to everyone who has an interest in my daughter's care and wellbeing.

    Sure, Wave is a bit clunky and it could do with a little streamlining here and there, but it's useful and free. Where Google is happy creating its own "Evil Empire" in some areas, it has been positively cuddly and kindly in others, and Wave will be missed greatly in this household. Not perfect, it's true, but a handy tool that has kept those involved apprised of my daughter's health and care requirements and has, to my knowledge, kept prying eyes away from confidential information.

    We could use Facebook or one of several other methods of staying in touch, of course, but Wave's very obscurity has, for us at least, been one of its chief strengths.

    Sad to see it go, frankly, but pleased that Google gave it a go.

  30. Parax

    Short sighted..

    So goofgle (I'll leave that typo as its far to appropriate!) said to themselves what if email didn't exist? How would we make it today? and voila Wave was born...

    Anyway what Google Failed to realise that releasing an alternative email system would probably only work IF email didn't exist in the first place.... so just as has been posted above. Wave was always second to email and just extra hassle. What google should have done was integrate Gmail into wave so that there was just ONE application, with multiple types of email/wave threads.

    Wave was good, but in the end it was too much hassle to manage multiple apps. In the same way that people dont have myspace bebo twitter and facebook.. but instead just stick to one.

  31. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. Jerome 0


    Google Wave is the most useful new service I've seen on the web in many years. It's confusing at first, but all it takes is an ounce of imagination to see how it can be used.

    Now my band uses it to plan everything we do. When it gets shut down, we'll find it hugely annoying to go back to some archaic combo of emails, attachments and IMs.

    Google needs a little dedication to their products. There has been a distressing trend recently of them having great ideas that are ahead of their time, but then cancelling them before the world has a change to catch up. Thank God that didn't happen with Android.

  33. Sam Therapy

    What's the difference between ignorance and apathy?

    I don't know and I don't care.

    Coat/door enactment scenario.

  34. Andrew Sittermann

    It's a real shame.

    It's a real shame. The real-time multi-user apps supported by wave have a great future. We have a Google Wave travel-planner called "Travel WithMe",

    and people love the real-time experience.

    Sensing that wave might not be going places, we've put it on facebook now as well, but still with Google Wave's realtime features. It's at

  35. BorkedAgain


    ...Rather liked it myself. Liked the collaboration, the ability for a newcomer to the wave to replay its history, the instant translation robot and the whole idea. Never quite reached a critical mass of colleagues or friends to make it actually useful, and I rather suspect that's what put paid to it in our case.

    That, and the lack of integration with "old-fashioned" email.

    It'd be nice to see it resurface in slicker form in Gmail or Google Docs or similar. For people who will miss the collaborative aspect of it, you could try using Google Spreadsheets to collaborate with; it's not perfect, but it's free and easy... ;)

  36. P.W. Dragoix

    how to make waves when the wind drops?

    Google Earthquake. about f. time.

  37. Randall Shimizu
    Thumb Down

    Wave issues

    Google was interesting, but I disliked the idea that you had to have a separate email address for it. The other problem was that Google did not see all that committed to it. Google needed to do a lot more to promote Wave. I think Google's decision to abandon Wave so quickly demonstrates their lack of commitment.

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