Google’s collaborative program, Wave, is in beta test by invitation only. From the Youtube videos that I’ve seen, it appears that Google Wave is built around the same model as Lotus Notes: server-stored "documents" may be worked on and shared by many people. In the business world, Lotus Notes has been the leader in this sort of collaborative software, or groupware. Lotus Notes has been used by businesses since the early nineties, is proprietary from the ground up, and is expensive to deploy and support.
It appears that Google Wave may be a 21st Century web-based version of Lotus Notes. I like its drag and drop user interface and what appears to be an ability to add functions with drop-in modules. This hints at an open interface that may encourage third-party developers. Most Google software is built upon open source, so I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that at its heart is the open source MySQL database. I see two caveats:
It (apparently) doesn’t include a shared calendar (Lotus Notes has one.)
Google’s typical Terms Of Service requires users to allow Google to do what it wants with their data.
The first caveat may be moot, if (and it’s only if) Google Wave integrates with Google Calendar. Business workgroups need shared calendars.
Have a look at Google Wave: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6pgxLaDdQw and let me know what you think.
What’s Wave’s business model? As always, Google will use your data to learn about you, so that it can deliver directed advertising to you. Advertisers love this, and will pay big bucks for Google’s accurate market targeting.
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