Just about a year ago, at the last Google I/O developer's conference, the company offered a rare sneak peek at something new, innovative and, unfortunately, kind of confusing - Google Wave.
As a tool for streamlining communications and collaboration, I liked where Google was headed with it. But as an invitation-only sneak peek, I didn't have very many people to communicate and collaborate with behind the Wave wall.
Today, that all changes.
The company is announcing today that Wave is now openly available as part of Google Labs - no invitation necessary. Likewise, Google Apps administrators can enable Wave for all users at no extra cost.
For those who tried Google Wave when it first came out but found it not ready for prime-time, now may be the time to give it another shot. The company says it's faster, much more stable and easier to use. Among the new features: email notifications when waves change, easier navigation to unread parts of a wave, permission management options and an extensions gallery.
The company will also announce improvements to the Wave APIs today and open sourcing more components useful for those building Wave services.