Google may not be saying it, but they’ve just showed their hand in (and maybe redefined) the UC market. Google Wave, announced at the Google development conference, blends social network frameworks and policies with IM and email.
We’re hearing that Google will also be integrating voice and video communications with Wave, and the fact that they made the announcement at a developer conference shows that Google is planning to pull in support from third parties to enhance Wave’s capabilities.
We’ve commented for some time that communications needed to be built around a new social network framework and not just around voice calling, and Google seems to be doing just that. Wave is a kind of smart document that carries communications along with it, facilitating its own collaborative framework. Thus, it is something like a service template and something like a business document or personal letter/email combined.
The problem is that Wave won’t be available until late 2009 at the earliest, according to the rumors we’ve heard. That means that there’s plenty of time for others to jump in and make some of the same points—and maybe faster. Based on what was said at the developer conference, it’s hard to see how Google could advance their timetable.