This week Google finally distributed a limited set of invites to its Wave collaboration application. Wave represents a fundamental re-thinking of the way people collaborate and is designed to break the death-grip e-mail still has on communications.
Wave has come up a lot in recent conversations with vendors and end-users alike. Vendors are concerned that Google will emerge as a strong competitor in the unified communications and collaboration market, while enterprise IT architects are still reluctant to embrace Google as an alternative to IBM Lotus and Microsoft, but are enticed by Google's approach to integrating real-time and non-real-time collaboration.
I tend to think the real impact of Wave won't be as much a mass adoption by knowledge workers as it will drive new features and innovations to applications including Notes and Outlook. Just as Skype introduced the world to UC, perhaps Wave will do the same for a new paradigm for collaboration.