100,000 early users catch Google's Wave

The select group will get a first glimpse of Google's 'Swiss Army knife' for online services

Google's highly anticipated communication and collaboration tool - Google Wave - is one big step closer to its first customer shipment.

The company is inviting about 100,000 users and developers to preview the new technology, Lars Rasmussen, an engineering manager, and Stephanie Hannon, a group product manager at Google, said in a blog post today . The users and developers will get the invitations tomorrow, they said in the post.

[ Google has called Wave a "Swiss Army knife for online services." | Earlier this month, Google let Google Apps users try out Wave. | Follow the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing blog and Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]

The Google bloggers acknowledged that Google Wave, which was unveiled this past May, still isn't yet ready for prime time. But, they added, the developers are now ready to get some feedback on the current iteration of the tool.

"We'll ask some of these early users to nominate people they know also to receive early invitations -- Google Wave is a lot more useful if your friends, family and colleagues have it too," wrote Rasmussen and Hannon. "This, of course, will just be the beginning. If all goes well we will soon be inviting many more to try out Google Wave."

The Web-based Google Wave application is designed to consolidate features from e-mail, instant messaging, blogging, wikis, multimedia management and document sharing. Using social networking-like interfaces, the tool should enable collaboration and community-building applications.

This story, "100,000 early users catch Google's Wave" was originally published by Computerworld.

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