You gotta think that if Google’s communications/collaboration uberapp Wave lives up to even half of its considerable hype and promise, it’ll be the signature application within Google Apps someday. For now, it remains in private beta and isn’t part of Google Apps. But Google is saying it’ll let some companies and schools into the beta this fall, and hopes to roll out Wave to all Apps users sometime next year.
Wave’s slow-motion debut is strikingly different from Google’s more typical modus operandi of springing new stuff on the world only when it’s ready to try (as it did with Chrome a year ago). It’s a necessary approach given that Wave is as much an ambitious developer platform as an end-user product. But I suspect that it also means that the Wave that makes its way to general release in 2010 may be significantly different from the one Google has demoed to date. Which makes Wave even harder to judge. We know that Google is excited about it, and developers seem enthusiastic. Now we just need to find out if real people understand it and want it.