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Google's Wave Overshadows Microsoft's Bing Release

Steve Ballmer woke up thinking this was going to be a good day...

For those of you wondering why Google hasn't been even more aggressive in its development of the already best-in-show Gmail platform via the integration of its diverse web app suite, the answer appears to lie in a forthcoming product called Google Wave, announced just an hour ago, that takes all-in-one, customizable webapp integration to the next level to consolidate all of your Google-based conversation, collaboration, gaming and geo-spatial interaction into discrete "waves" of information.

In other words, rather than continuing to build onto a focused and already successful email product, potentially 1) overcomplicating it for certain users and 2) remaining stuck in an old product frame, Google Wave will sit atop apps like Gmail, Chat, Status Messages, Docs, Widgets, Friend Connect, Blogger, Calendar, Reader, Maps, Earth and perhaps even Facebook competitor Orkut, allowing you to mix the info flows in one central location.

Here's a snapshot of one version of the potentially revolutionary Wave interface:

It's no accident that Google's Wave announcement was made simultaneous to Microsoft's unveiling of its new Bing search engine, which is getting "nice improvement, but I'll stick with Google" reviews. My bet is that Wave will mark a far more disruptive forward step in the web experience because of its focus on fundamentally better user:info interaction.

Google's message rings loud and clear: "Microsoft, while you're playing catch-up in search, we're utilizing our already massive and debugged app suite to develop entire new products and integrated search data. Spend all the money you want on Bing marketing, it's going to take you years to develop the structured prosumer data necessary to meaningfully compete."

Of course, the message actually posted was far more Googly:

Google: "Wave is a new model for communication and collaboration on the web, coming later this year. Here's a preview of just some of the aspects of this new tool."

Further adding strength to the oncoming Wave is the fact that it's being released as an open model, similar to mobile phone OS Android (18 different Android phones will be released in 2009, others are using it for netbooks) and Chrome (already superior in speed and function to Internet Explorer), that developers can modify and integrate into their own sites. By keeping its great googly eye on the information prize and relinquishing development sovereignty and near-term income, Google seems to be out-futuring its competitors on most fronts.

Prosumer Takeaways: So what will Wave mean for you?
  1. A next-level conversational experience. Reduced app switch-through time. One-stop shop. Ideal for collaboration. Big time saver.
  2. More organized personal data. Relevant past items will pop up in appropriate new "waves" automatically. Big time saver. Powerful memory aid.
  3. A big improvement in personally relevant search. If you opt in, the social-info graph cobbled together by Wave will increase your Google search efficiency. Time saver. Intelligence amplifier.
  4. A centralized application through which you can monetize your scattered content in a variety of ways via the ever-evolving AdSense. Essentially a better way to monetize prosumer value creation and behavior. Gradually more $$$ in your pocket.
I think it's fair to assume that Steve Ballmer and a host of other social media execs are having a bad day.

Update: Here's a solid description of the philosophy behind the service by Google's Lars Rasmussen.

Update #2: TechCrunch has a great vid interview up featuring the founding Wave developer team.

Update #3: Google founder Sergei Brin, who's working hands-on with Wave, believes the product will do very well, creating a new "benchmark for interactivity". The stickier it is, the better for the Big G.


  1. By the looks of it, this platform could potentially create an web/environment for real time, accurate and user friendly social metrics.

    Why is this important? It's not but it's cool.

    Why is it cool? Because I said so for one. It is also cool because if we have up to date measurements/displays/interfaces for live human data and behavior, we can then begin to create a market. Think fantasy baseball but with regular humans in all different fields. People, their behavior and attributes become what people invest in.

    The stock market is outdated. We need to expand what can be invested in.

    Like Philip Rosedale (CEO Linden Labs, creator of Second Life) once said, "People are companies too."

    This is what I see possible from this post.

  2. Peltaire: The stock market is outdated. We need to expand what can be invested in.That is a great point that gets at the fundamental need for 1) micropayments for incremental innovation and, as you point out, 2) the better quantification of social/info data. Wave will likely spur a broader push toward more efficient economics. After all, info and economics are fundamentally intertwined.

    Love the Rosedale comment. Is that from your vid interview with him wy back when?

  3. The greatest benefit of Facebook is that it has many groups on the site that you can join. So if you are interested in Chicago Cubs you can research Chicago Cubs in the groups section and you will be able to find friends on there that like the Cubs. This is just one example, I know that you can join groups of your favorite football team, television show, or whatever you want for the most part! If you can't find a group for your interest, you can simply create one!



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