Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs all went out of beta last week. The funny thing is that I didn’t notice it till my husband pointed it out to me this weekend, which is more proof that Alex Chitu was right when he said, “If you think there’s something missing from Gmail’s logo, enable the “Back to Beta” feature from Gmail Labs to bring back the familiar logo. It’s that easy to pretend that nothing happened.” As further proof, who among you noticed it without someone (or some article) pointing the fact out to you?
Anyway the reason why I’m writing this post isn’t to just figure out how many people noticed the non-beta status of these Google apps. I am writing to find out what everyone thinks about my theory that the reason why these apps actually came out of beta is not only because the apps are “fully mature” but also because Google will now be shifting their focus on their next big product – Google Wave. Google Wave looks to me like an amalgam of the Gmail, Google Docs, and Twitter – but different and better. As Lars Rasmussen put it they designed Google Wave with one question in mind, “How would email look like if it were invented today and not 40 years ago.”
If you haven’t heard of Google Wave yet you can watch the preview below. I doubt that Gmail and other email services will become obsolete that fast, especially with most people being pretty resistant to change, but it is clear (please do watch the video to see what I mean) that Wave will be revolutionary not only for developers and businesses (focus on the open protocol used by Wave) but also for normal people in terms of the way we communicate. This takes real time to the next level, which can only be REAL real time. Sounds weird? Again, I urge you to watch the video.