Google Wave, the realtime collaboration tool, has been axed as a standalone product.
Wave got its developer preview in May 2009 before a more public beta took place this year.
In a blog post, Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Google Operations says that despite "numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked." No wonder; despite numerous attempts, Google itself couldn't explain a proper usage model for the system.
Set a high bar
However, it is surprising for Google to wield the cutting shears quite so early, suggesting that ongoing investment was needed to either make Wave into a fully-fledged product or keep it going full stop.
"We have always pursued innovative projects because we want to drive breakthroughs in computer science that dramatically improve our users' lives," said Hölzle. "[Wave] set a high bar for what was possible in a web browser. We showed character-by-character live typing, and the ability to drag-and-drop files from the desktop, even 'playback' the history of changes—all within a browser."
Hölzle adds that Google will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects.
"The central parts of the code, as well as the protocols that have driven many of Wave's innovations, like drag-and-drop and character-by-character live typing, are already available as open source, so customers and partners can continue the innovation we began. In addition, we will work on tools so that users can easily 'liberate' their content from Wave."
"Wave has taught us a lot, and we are proud of the team for the ways in which they have pushed the boundaries of computer science. We are excited about what they will develop next as we continue to create innovations with the potential to advance technology and the wider web."