Web giant Google has today opened its new browser tool, Google Wave, that is said to mix the functions of email, instant messaging and online collaboration into one service.
Google has described the service as a “conversation in the cloud”, and is inviting 100,000 web users to try the program.
"A wave is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more,” said Google Wave co-creator Lars.
The new service is further signs that the future of the web will be in integrated communication services. Rather than having standalone Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and RSS accounts, many observers believe that a web app to rule them all will eventually emerge.
"In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it,” added Lars. “Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly.
"It's concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave."
Developers will be allowed to create various applications for the service.