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Thousands join Google Wave preview

Google unveils 'the next email' to testers

Google logo

Thousands of computer users have been given access to Google‘s latest gadget that lets a group of people chip in to create collaborative emails, documents and blog posts.

The gadget is still in its testing phase but the company has already called Google Wave ‘the new email’ and the ‘next step in online communications’.

Google Wave creates a centre for the most popular internet communication tools where users can get all their Twitter, Facebook and email updates in one place.

But the feature causing the most excitement is the ability for people you invite to join a ‘wave’ to chat, reply and even edit the document in real-time.

Google Wave preview

A wave can include pictures, text and diagrams and participants can reply at any time and anywhere within the message. There is also a tool to rewind the wave to see how it was edited.

The application is still being tested so access is still invitation-only and yesterday the company asked another 100,000 people to join.

In a blog post Lars Rasmussen, who helped to create Google Maps, engineering manager for Wave said: ‘Some of you have asked what we mean by preview. This just means that Google Wave isn’t quite ready for prime time. Not yet, anyway.

‘Since first unveiling the project back in May, we’ve focused almost exclusively on scalability, stability, speed and usability. Yet, you will still experience the occasional downtime, a crash every now and then, part of the system being a bit sluggish and some of the user interface being, well, quirky.’

Google Wave is set to be launched to the public next year.

Until then, you can read the Which? guide to using social networking websites. 

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