Portions of Wave will also be available to future developers. "The central parts of the source code, as well as the protocols that have driven many Wave innovations, are already available as open source, so customers and partners can continue the innovation we began," the Google spokesperson said.
If you're unfamiliar with Wave, here's the short of it: It's a hosted collaboration Swiss Army knife that combines email, IM, document sharing, blogs, wikis, and multimedia management. Users are able to collaborate and share documents in real time, as with SharePoint.
Each set of files and threads pertaining to a specific subject is a Wave; for example, a company might have a single Wave containing all files, images, and communications with a specific customer or among particular users working on a given project. That's a lot of information and functionality bouncing around in a single pane of glass, compared to, say, grabbing emails from Outlook or Gmail, IMs from AIM or Trillian, documents from your Documents folder or CMS, sales info from your CRM app or service, and so forth.
Wave's user-oriented features in and of themselves may sound familiar when compared to what you've seen in, say, SharePoint (formerly Groove). Some of the real innovation -- and the reason Wave earned so much interest among some analysts -- is its underlying architecture, based on the open-messaging standard XMPP. Technologist Jason Kolb (who founded Latigent, later acquired by Cisco) wrote an in-depth analysis of Wave architecture last September, which may shed some light on why the product had garnered much excitement and interest.
"In a nutshell, this is the next revolutionary leap in Internet application architecture," Kolb wrote. "Maybe the first truly revolutionary leap since HTTP itself."
This article, "Google Wave will rise again, in one form or another," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog.