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Google is letting a few more people play with its new communication and collaboration tool, Wave, starting tomorrow. Specifically, 100,000 developers, Google Apps users, and other sign-ups at the Wave website will be getting access to a preview version.
That’s a lot of people, but many more are being left out — Engineering Manager Lars Rasmussen tells CNET Google received more than 1 million requests to participate. That’s confirmation that, despite the occasional fuzziness of the Wave concept (because it’s a combination of so many different concepts, such as email, word processing, news feeds, and photo galleries), there’s tons of interest in the product.
Here’s the state of Wave, according to Google:
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.
There are also still key features of Google Wave that we have yet to fully implement. For example, you can’t yet remove a participant from a wave or define groups of users, draft mode is still missing and you can’t configure the permissions of users on a wave. We’ll be rolling out these and other features as soon as they are ready — over the next few months.
As part of opening up, Google has also highlighted some of the cool extensions companies have built on top of Wave, even in its early stage, which give some sense of how broadly Wave might be used:
- A way to play Sudoku with your friends from Labpixies
- A telephone conferencing service from Ribbit
- Video chat from 6rounds
- An itinerary collaboration tool from Lonely Planet
- A weather forecast widget from AccuWeather
- Collaborative map editing from Google Maps.
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