Death of Google Wave is a Wakeup Call About Cloud Service Risk

Google recently announced that it is shutting down its Wave service.

…Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year…

This is interesting because it is the latest in a series of dying Web 2.0 services. Some of these, like lala, were shut down as a part of an acquisition. But Wave is different. It was backed by the Great Google and it had more than a million users who are unhappy to have this collaboration service yanked out from under them.

In the past, if a company stopped publishing a software title it didn’t immediately disappear from your computer. Cloud service are different. The death of Wave is a wakeup call that cloud services are fundamentally different than installed software because the cloud can go away.

Google has decided that Wave isn’t the future, so it’s going to go away. If you like Wave and think it’s great, you’re out of luck. You can’t keep running it, Google says it goes, so it’s gone. This is sort of scary. Welcome to vendor lock in 2.0.

This is probably going to happen to other things. I’m not sure which ones, but if you think things like Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail are never going to change, you are sadly mistaken.

How much should anyone depend on a cloud service? What’s the backup plan if your service gets shut down?

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One Response to Death of Google Wave is a Wakeup Call About Cloud Service Risk

  1. JonSmith says:

    Apache Wave anyone?

    Seriously though, if Gmail was to shut down services, I’ll be hooking in Thunderbird to download all my mail to offline IMAP.

    Screw Twitter & Facebook; no real work gets done there anyway. Then only safe cloud is the one *you* run. 😉

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