Google Wave has graduated to Google Apps, showing a resurgence in user interest that seemed unlikely just a few months ago.

It took a lot of criticism over the past year, following its launch at Google I/O in 2009. Its blank white page was confusing and people were unsure how to use it – it almost left too much to the imagination. But to Google’s credit, Wave has come a long way, particularly with its UI.

Now you have the option of using Google Wave to co-edit, for instance, in Google Docs or brainstorm on topics. You can use it for discussions or in meetings.

The platform is getting a further boost from third-party developers such as Novell Pulse, SAP’s StreamWork and a number of new services such as Unawave.

Google discovered that customers found Wave most effective when used for discussion-heavy collaborative tasks.

For example, it offers the capability for a participant to jump into the conversation at any point. A person can add to the conversation anywhere on the Wave, giving it a logical information structure. It becomes an organized record that follows the flow of the conversation.

Google Apps administrators have control over who gets access to Wave.

Google Wave has come a long way but it still has its detractors. For instance, the latency issues are still a problem when working with larger groups. But Google is repositioning the service, saying it is best used with small teams.

alex williams

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