reinventing email

My invite finally came along for Google Wave. If you don’t know what I’m talking about just watch this video. I haven’t had a chance to use it extensively yet as I only have a few contacts, but it looks great. More importantly it seems solid. This isn’t some flippant new GoogleToyâ„¢, but a deep new reinvention of electronic communication.

But this beta preview is just the tip of the iceberg. Email is so tightly integrated into the workflow of computing that it won’t be an easy task to supplant it. I’m hopeful that this could become the email of the future, but I see a number of hurdles before that happens. I’m not going to name names, but the initials of one such hurdle are MS.

October 23, 2009 at 5:17 am

I’d by interested to know why you think “MS” is a hurdle. 

There are several hurdles that Google needs to overcome to supplant email. The most significant one, IMO, is that they have to win the hearts and minds of the coorporate world, and that is no small task, just ask “MS”. Google would need to make Google Wave so appealing that IT departments would be willing to throw away all their existing email infrastructure and spend large amounts of time and money training personelle in how use and support Google Wave.  I don’t see this happening at all any time soon.  If anything, small startups will start using Google Wave, but will also heavily rely on email because they need to be able to communicate with the rest of the world, which won’t necessarily be on Google Wave.

The only way you can beat email is to evolve it in a compelling way and/or provide a communication method that is fully backwards compatibility with it.  Otherwise, they’ll only win over hobbyists and tech enthusiasts like ourselves.

Chris, October 24, 2009 at 9:16 am

The reason I see MS as hurdle, is that Wave needs to be adopted as a communication platform by much more than just Google. Truthfully, as far as email goes, Google is still a baby amongst giants.  Notably Wave will need Exchange support before anyone will take it seriously, and it seems to me that there is very little incentive for MS to make that to happen.

Chuck, October 25, 2009 at 8:36 am

Actually, it’s not up to MS to provide Wave support for Exchange.  Anybody can purchase a license for the Exchange/Active-Sync protocols (this is what Apple is doing for the iPhone and Snow Leopard).  Doing so probably goes against Google’s strategy, though, since they want to replace Exchange with their own email distribution system (via Google Apps).  The Outlook plugin is one example where Google is trying to undermine and defeat MS Exchange.

Chris, October 25, 2009 at 7:57 pm


Chuck, October 30, 2009 at 10:13 am

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