A new service being unveiled by Google, Google Wave combines features of email, chat, wiki, and document sharing. That's a steep promise, but seeing is believing.
Google Wave has been under development for several years, and is being led by Lars and Jans Rasmussen of Google Maps fame. The intention is to treat the Wave as an open source project, and provide a way for outside entities such as blog engines to create and publish their own Google Wave extensions.
Some notable features are:
- email & chat combined: now, email can truly become conversational.
- message (history) playback: catch uo and get current with an evolving Wave by performing a historical playback. In this way, additions, comments, and replies can be seen and read in the order that they took place.
- attachments, sort of: media such as images or video are fully in-context with the Wave.
- embed Waves onto web pages such as a blog entry: any instance of a Wave updates all other instances of the same Wave. All instances of the Wave are updated in real time.
- collaborate: a Wave can have multiple authors or editors, all contributing to the accuracy of the Wave.
- real time, multi-author editing: live, concurrent, collaborative editing is possible on a Wave.
- real time search: entries are added to a search result in real time, as new Waves that match the search criteria are created.
- Wave extensions and gadgets: this is what will put Google Wave over the top, providing a way to easily create Wave extensions that can easily be installed/uninstalled by users.
More info at Google (wave.google.com), or by watching the developer conference video (1h20m).