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Google is..ahem...making waves... with it's "Wave" announcement this week. At this point Wave seems to have created as much confusion as excitement. Is it an e-mail killer? A SharePoint killer? Or something entirely new??
The best way to describe Wave is a communication and collaboration dashboard that combines real-time and non-real time collaboration channels into a unified user interface. Channels include chat, e-mail, and a shared workspace featuring Wiki-like functionality. Perhaps most importantly Wave is designed more as a platform than as a product, highlighted by the fact that Google introduced it to developers first, with an extensive set of APIs to enable third-party developers to incorporate Wave functions into their own environments.
So how do we pigeon Wave into a market segment when Google won't cooperate? Wave is a competitor on the enterprise front with e-mail, social networking, and collaboration applications. On the public side, it offers functions that could place it in competition with sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Enterprise collaboration managers, as well as product managers for competing offerings would be wise to catch the Wave before they get swept up.