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Oct 14
2009

Google Wave Is A Platform, Not A Tool

Posted by MHickins in Web 2.0online collaborationGoogle Wave

MHickins

Google Wave is about more than just a fancy new collaboration tool.
 
Yes, it's got people excited because of its groundbreaking ability to let users pull in all sorts of data, files, and email and chat clients onto a single surface that can be shared in real time. And since it's not even in beta, it's raising all kinds of questions ranging from scalability to security, all of which should be answered in good time.
 
But that's not why it's such a big deal. The real importance of Google Wave is how it will change where people do their work, and how that, in turn, will impact Microsoft.

Today, productivity tools are essentially synonymous with Microsoft Office; Word, PowerPoint, Excel – these brands have become synonymous with what they do, and most people can't imagine creating documents using any other tools. Corporate environments are also rife with SharePoint servers for collaboration – in fact, one of the problems IT administrators and compliance officers find is that they can't even keep track of the number of SharePoint instances in their environment.
 
If Wave is as successful as Google hopes, all of that changes, and Microsoft's stranglehold on productivity applications dissolves like sugar in water. Wave would get people used to working within a browser rather than on a desktop, and after a while, using Google Apps, spreadsheet and presentation tools will become as natural as using Microsoft's tools on the desktop seem today.
 
Eventually, executives will realize that they don't need to spend on as many Microsoft CALs, and that SharePoint is redundant with their needs. Slowly, as other online applications begin to proliferate within the enterprise, on-premise and desktop-based applications will become the province of truly specialized applications.
 
In other words, Wave is more than an application. It's even more than a platform that systems integrators can use to connect various cloud-based applications. It's the platform for an entirely new architecture of enterprise software.

Comments (4)Add Comment
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written by Zora, October 16, 2009
What will Microsoft do?
How will it help students?
Fred Kauber
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written by Fred Kauber, October 17, 2009
If Wave can successfully become the seamless collaboration space that also integrates other cloud-based apps, it will undoubtedly advance the borders of the cloud within the enterprise. However, a major impediment to cloud adoption is the online/offline divide, and that is a powerful fear in the back of many user's minds as to why it is safer to have a local copy of Office. There is no doubt that we are heading toward a netbook/cloud-based app world, but there are still some big hurdles to overcome.
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written by Scott Yates, October 19, 2009
Look, Wave will be huge for all the reasons you say.
But there are plenty of reasons to avoid Wave right now.
Well, five of them anyway. I list them here: http://bit.ly/26ZPUE
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written by Tom Wooters, October 21, 2009
It is certainly interesting, but am I the only one who is increasingly frustrated by browser-accessed applications? Wholly apart from the risks of loss, misuse and unauthorized access to data:

Browser access is ssllooowwww. Everything goes back and forth across the network.

It is awkward. Navigation is like having to learn to use a different, not very well designed, keyboard for every screen.

I lose all my keyboard commands.

If I am out of network then I am out of business

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