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Google Showcases New Communication and Collaboration Tool - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com
Google Showcases New Communication and Collaboration Tool By Miguel Helft Jens and Lars Rasmussen, the two brothers who created what would become Google Maps, have spent the last couple of years holed up in Google’s offices in Sydney, Australia, dreaming up a new tool for communicating over the Web. On Thursday, at a Google conference for developers in San Francisco, they showcased......

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Google Showcases New Communication and Collaboration Tool

By Miguel Helft

Jens and Lars Rasmussen, the two brothers who created what would become Google Maps, have spent the last couple of years holed up in Google’s offices in Sydney, Australia, dreaming up a new tool for communicating over the Web. On Thursday, at a Google conference for developers in San Francisco, they showcased the fruits of their work: Google Wave.

Google Wave is an application running in a Web browser that creates a shared online desktop where two or more users can interact easily. They can exchange messages as they would do in e-mail or instant messaging conversation. They can share and edit rich documents that include formatted text, images and graphics. They can also drag and drop simple applications called widgets into a Wave to, for example, play a game together. And they can save and publish any Wave resulting from their collaboration to the Web.

“We like to think that we invented something new here,” Lars Rasmussen said in an interview. “It is a communications and collaborations tool. We call it a Wave. It is equal measure document and conversation.”

Google Wave will not be available to the public until late in 2009. But the company is making it available to developers who attended the conference now, hoping they will build their own extensions, creating all sorts of new applications for the product.

For instance, Mr. Rasmussen said engineers at Google had developed a way for creating a Wave that keeps track of users’ Twitter messages. He said others could use it to have a single place where a user could keep track of different mail and instant messaging accounts. And he said workers inside companies could easily use Wave to collaborate and create new documents and also to interact with other applications.

“We are still discovering new ways in which this combination makes you more effective in communication,” Mr. Rasmussen said. “I can’t wait to see what developers are going to build.”

Much of Wave’s technology will be made available to others under an open source license, he said.

Mr. Rasmussen was more circumspect when it came to talking how Google would position Wave for consumers. He said that a rollout to the public was still months away.

For Google, Wave is not just an interesting new product, but an opportunity to showcase its message to software developers at the conference: Internet browsers have become powerful enough that they can be used as a platform to develop complex applications. The approach makes the computer desktop, where Microsoft has reigned supreme for more than a decade, far less central to the future of computing.


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MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4132



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