Google has finally shut its Wave tool and told web users they can no longer access their group discussions and collaborative projects from the service, unless they are Chrome browser users.
Internet Explorer and Firefox users trying to access the Wave website are now told the hosting servers for the service have been closed completely.
“You will no longer be able to get to your waves,” says the status page.
However, Google has chosen – for the time being – to allow users of its own browser, Chrome, to access the read-only version of Google Wave. Google hasn’t confirmed how much longer Chrome users would have this access.
The long wave goodbye began in August 2010, when Google announce plans to discontinue the project. Last November, the web giant had warned it would pull the plug on the project, telling Wave users they would be able to access the service in a read-only version only from January 31 through April 30 of this year.
Its read-only users could still export their waves using the PDF export feature, read existing waves, or export their waves to an open source project called Walkaround.
Google Wave was one of the company’s first major social moves, before Buzz and Google+. Wave was Google’s attempt to “rethink email” by allowing web users to collaborate and discuss ideas through a hosted conversation, rather than through multiple emails back and forth.
Google Wave launched as an invitation-only platform at the 2009 Google I/O conference. Wave proved popular with developers, but failed to generate much interest in the wider online market. Google VP Marissa Mayer once called Wave one of Google’s biggest mistakes.
SES Toronto 2012 is June 11-13. Register before May 11 and save up to $300!