I was lucky enough to receive a Google Wave invite today. Upon first use, I would say that the service definitely does have the potential that they have touted in recent months.
I think there are possibly a few issues with it though. I’m not sure I’m ready to have my email just in the browser, and it seems as though for a while at least, that will be the only option. Not only that, but the task they have to convince the world that this is the future of email, and actually getting everyone to switch to it, is of monumental proportions.
I think the third issue is that it feels more like a geeky project at this point rather than a serious future email service. Will the masses be able to adjust to something that has far more complex overall than the current email protocol.
One benefit though is that this doesn’t require all the fiddly email settings that you currently require in an email app. Email has multiple protocols which can be confusing so this could be a step forward in simplicity as far as settings go.
Of course, even current email services have had web interfaces for many years, Hotmail started it from what I can tell, but Gmail really took it to the next level in terms of style, simplicity and usability.
I will probably be using Wave for mostly family communication and as more of a novelty at first, but with all the talk of extensions and more, the service has a huge amount of potential going forward.