Sydney staff survive Google's Wave cutback

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Sydney staff survive Google's Wave cutback

Google expects to retain all Sydney staff employed under the Google Wave open source collaboration project, which was unexpectedly canned today.

A Google Australia spokesperson confirmed that the abandoned project would have "no implications" for the local development team led by Lars Rasmussen, who built Wave under the code name "Walkabout".

As recently as July 27, the Wave team was still actively posting about Wave on the product's official blog.

Rasmussen, also a co-founder of Google's Maps technology, today referred requests for comment back to the Google PR team. 

Google currently has 35 vacancies advertised for its Sydney office, which is likely to make the redeployment easier.

"Since we won't be maintaining and marketing [Wave] as a standalone product, we'll need fewer people overall," an internal post on the closure noted.

"So over the next few weeks, we'll be working with members of the team to help get them started on other product teams in the Sydney office -- Apps, Geo, Net Tools and potentially some new efforts." 

A short history

Wave was launched in May 2009, and opened up to all Google users in May 2010, but that expansion failed to attract the user base Google wanted.

The change will impact Novell and SAP, both of which have integrated Wave into some enterprise communications products.

The company that will most be delighted with the closure of Wave is Microsoft - which will continue to dominate the market for collaboration tools through its SharePoint server tool.

"Au Revoir, Google Wave," tweeted Joanna Stevens Kramer, head of Microsoft Australia's corporate communications team.

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