Invitations to beta test a very buggy and extremely dense piece of software don't usually get $70 on eBay. Except for this week when Google Wave was opened to 100,000 invitees. Gina Trapani provided a comprehensive look at Wave and it's abundant feature set and the WSJ's Digits interviewed the development team leaders Lars Rasmussen and Stephanie Hannon. Simply put, Wave is Google's (very impressive) effort to take over the world of online collaborations.
There is a lot of skepticism regarding their chances. Bizfeed addressed the common concern that Wave had too many moving parts and was too complex for widespread adoption, especially by consumers. The argument was similar to the ones that favor Twitter over Facebook because of its streamlined nature. Gmail's recent outages didn't help much either. The BBC's dot.life blog wondered if 'one size fits all' was viable for a collaboration tool. Techcrunch agreed that many people will find the current Wave 'confusing and cluttered' but they saw hope through their belief that Wave's ambitions were well targeted.
Wave is intended to reach both consumers and enterprise users and there was an emerging theme about Wave's open source and developer network providing significant value to the enterprise. Cloud Ave listed the top 11 apps (called Robots in wavespeak) for the enterprise, including Tweety which will catch your Twitter followers up even if they aren't reading the same wave. Rafe Needleman took note of Ribbit, an app for Wave based conference calls.
The main reason for consumer optimism was voiced by Techwag: Wave can provide social networking more efficiently than the conventional networks do. For example your Wave discussions about your job search are unavailable to your boss and the tales of late night exploits (hopefully) won't show up in your Facebook page.