Is Wave Bloatware?

By  |  Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Google Wave LogoGoogle has published a video of this morning’s demo of Wave–its radically ambitious upcoming service which aims to be what e-mail should be and meld it with IM, allow for real-time document sharing, provide instant photo sharing, revolutionize spell checking,  provide on-the-fly translation, and allow developers to either build on top of the service or replace it with their own underpinnings, among other things. It’s an hour and twenty minutes long, and doesn’t get through all the things one might want to know about Wave. Here, I’ll embed it right here and wait while you watch it:

All finished?

Among the many interesting questions about Wave is this: Is it bloatware? It’s not ready for release yet, and it appears to already be bursting at the seams with functionality. Screenshots show a service that crams dozens of features, options, and snippets of information onto the screen–less an example of Google-esque minimalism and more like a Microsoft app that’s been through a few versions and is shoehorning stuff in.

Unlike my friend Jordan Golson, I don’t see Wave as a sign of breathtaking Google arrogance–at least not if the company comes up with a reasonable game plan to roll it out to the business users who are apparently its primary target. But I do worry about it suffering from Kitchen Sink Disease. I’m looking forward to trying it out soon and forming opinions based on actually using the thing…

 
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24 Comments For This Post

  1. Mike Abundo Says:

    It would be bloatware if it weren’t so seamless. Features seem to show themselves only when you need them.

  2. JustCallMeBen Says:

    I don’t think it’ll be bloat, since (as I understood) you can add and remove features as you wish, just like firefox add-ons.

    I only have 7 add-ons (and 1 theme, not counting dictionary here) installed on Fx. So ofc, all the available add-ons have the potential to make the browser an absolute mess, but most user just select the fez ones they actually use.

    I figure it’ll be the same with Wave :)

  3. iaax Says:

    Google Wave: Email is the most popular way to communicate on the web, How can we make it better? Got It, lets change it in to twitter, connected to Picasa Web, and Google Mail, so people can get to interact with each other, and we get to know every bit of information they share in order to sell them out better, while at the same time we hang a “Do no Evil” sign on it!

    http://bit.ly/gfails

    Iaax Page

  4. Miles Tinsley Says:

    The real value here is the underlying technology, and the fact that it is open source. This demo shows just one implementation of Google Wave – just wait until those API’s become available…

    It’s brilliant!

  5. Marc Says:

    Surely since it’s been released yet, we can’t comment on whether or not it’s bloatware?

  6. Jeff at Sparkpr Says:

    I had the same exact thought. The last thing I want when I’m going through email is a sluggish, bloated program (sound familiar? *cough*outlook*cough*cough*). I’m sure they’ll do something to make it fast, but with all those graphics you have to wonder if it will take an hour just to get through your morning emails!

  7. Sridhar Vembu Says:

    Harry, the part about Wave that excites us at Zoho is the interoperability it can bring to collaborative applications. While data formats are open and you can export/import out of Google or Zoho apps, from a real time collaboration perspective, these are still somewhat islands. Wave is an ambitious attempt to standardize the underlying real time protocol & rich document collaboration.

    If this attempt at standardization succeeds (a big if, I agree), it opens to way for a whole new set of applications.

    The danger is what you point out: huge, over-arching attempts at standardization often lead to bloat-ware. Still we applaud Google for attempting this – and if anyone could pull this off (a big if again!), it would be them. Microsoft could pull this off from a technology standpoint, but they just don’t have the trust among the independent developer base.

  8. Charbax Says:

    Bing is Bloatware. Bloatware is Bing.

  9. Alan Wilensky Says:

    Haven’t there been any number of messaging clients that (postbox, what was that Yahoo acquisition??) that pull together all the media and info in your life? Yeah, yeah, I know that this is “platform” and ‘API”, but excuse me, if you can’t ecxplain what something is in a few sentences, how will it work for the common user?

    What was that Yahoo thing? Zimbra, what happened? Bloat!

  10. Kevin Mogee Says:

    Not the least bit related to the actual story, but doesn’t the Vic the VP (the guy who opened the show) sound just like Jeremy Piven?

  11. kit Says:

    I think it sounds brilliant. And if it is bloated, it has all the bloat that I love to use, so it sounds great to me. When I watched the vid, I saw Facebook disappearing, and also MS Office taking a dive. Who needs it now? And then I thought, it will be some fun for helpdesks answering those calls on Wave. The future is upon us. Embrace.

  12. Ande Says:

    I think if you watch the I/O presentation again, you will pick up on the the fact that the entire javascript codebase is 1.4MB. Only 200kB needs to be loaded as the system starts, and the rest is loaded as needed via the async calls of HTML5. That’s hardly bloated in the context of a modern ~1GB desktop.

  13. Ye Ahright Says:

    Look, this thing is -brilliant- fort so many reasons; I feel sorry for those whose comments reveal they’re simply naysayers that fail to see what this is:

    – disruptive technology

    First, this introduces a new unified way of thinking about different ways of communicating. Second, the richness based on HTML5 and the GWT means using something browserbased doesnt need ,to be inferior. Third, browserbased means cross platform.

    Fourth, by making this open source and aiming for the same ubiquity as email, this will really take off. It’ll also create spin-offs and create an entire ecostructure around this.

    Fifth, a rich, browser-based communication platform suddenly makes using an Outlook client that must be installed, maintained etc. seem old fashioned.

    Sixth, since Wave already supports federation and talks to regular email and other systems, companies can actually consider this as an alternative to Exchange. There’ ve been plenty of apps before that were thought to be Exchange-killers but weren’t. This thing has a better chance because it’s Google, its open source, its top notch and has features to die for.

    There are more reasons, but suffice it to say this will be the start of the next – sorry, no pun intended – ‘wave’ of internet and enterprise applications.

  14. Marc Says:

    Not watched the whole video, but does it let you paste in an image yet?

    It does seem a bit like Google trying to be clever for the sake of it. Nobody is going to replace email with their proprietary system. Looks like they have run out of ideas.

  15. Mike Abundo Says:

    Go watch the video, Marc. Yes, it lets you paste in an image. No, it isn’t a proprietary system.

  16. john brightman Says:

    HI looks very interesting! bookmarked your blog. john brightman

  17. john brightman Says:

    salam merc az matalebe mofideton!

  18. Rod Bauer Says:

    I’m very impressed with Wave. It’s the most significant technology demonstration I’ve seen in a long time. It could change the entire game on the Web.

  19. creativesideburner1 Says:

    Will be great! Interesting discussion though.

  20. Steve Says:

    I found some Google Wave invites, hit me up [email protected]

  21. Johnette Nelson Says:

    Hello adminstrator , i w/ ur blog.

  22. google trends Says:

    You are exactly right with this one

  23. Paris Jada Says:

    Google Wave did not have its popularity on the Web,that's why I think Google Plus was created.

  24. Julie Tyra Says:

    I really do not like Google Wave. I do not think it became popular. And because it was not a success, Google plus was created.

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