Yeah, yeah, I know. Google Wave is dead and gone, right? Not quite. We already talked about the potential of Apache Wave, and mentioned that the Google original is still available to those who care to squeeze every ounce they can from the innovative flop. Today, though, Google circulated an email to Wavers containing the end dates and Wave’s last gasp.
Wave was originally supposed to only be maintained to the end of 2010. For reasons of their own, however (likely to court potential future developers like Apache), Google let that date blow by with the waves still… waving. The final shutdown date is now, officially, January 31, 2012.
As of that date, Google Wave will become read only. Exporting waves (individually) to PDF will still be possible up until April 30, 2012. After that, the service goes down for good.
If you love your Wave and want to keep using it for your projects, you can keep going with the open source forks, most notably Apache Wave and Walkaround. Walkaround has an experimental feature that allows — or at least attempts — to import all of your waves from Google Wave. This will stop working on April 30, as well, so if you want to take advantage of it, do it before then.
Personally, I want to see more of Wave’s features integrated into Google+ and Google Docs, especially the potential for third-party addons. I don’t see Google opening that up anytime soon, as it could take Plus down paths they aren’t ready for, but who knows? Maybe down the line, eh?
What do you think?