Now go outside and look at the sky.
Finally had a chance to look at the Google Wave demo from the Google I/O conference a few days ago...
The concept starts out really easy at the beginning of the video, but by about the fifteen minute mark my jaw was on the floor and it stayed there for the next hour. The collaboration aspect of this tool (tool? concept? meta-application? lifestyle?) is mindblowing.
In an environment like the marketing agency I'm working for, Waves can replace all(!!!) other tools we are currently using for communication and documentation, starting with email and instant messenger, document repositories and Wikis, and on through to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. I'd be worried if my name were Microsoft.
I can totally see where a company installs their very own instance of the Wave server components on their machines, creates or buys some robot and widget extensions and then uses nothing else for the daily workflow in the office. There are obvious business opportunities for Google to offer one-click install packages with a commercial support license, and also a wide open market for third-party developers to create the server-side robots and the client-side widgets.
And in addition - among many other thoughts coming out of this video - the Wave concept opens many new doors for user interactions on websites. Personally, I can see many different ways how we can use some of the collaboration ideas (especially the many-users-one-document idea) for instance for MapSkip. This is a new way for users to collaborate on web pages and now that we have Google as a prominent trail blazer, there will be many new interaction schemes popping up all over the place. I can't wait!