Google to open Wave for public beta

Around 100,000 people will be given access to Google's browser-based communications and collaboration platform in two months' time

Google plans to open its Wave project up to the public in beta form at the end of September.

According to a blog post published on Monday by Google Wave product manager Dan Peterson, around 100,000 members of the general public will be granted access to the platform on 30 September. So far, only a limited number of developers have had a chance to play with the system.

Google Wave is an open-source collaboration and communication platform that acts as a hybrid between email, file-sharing and instant messaging. The browser-based platform was unveiled by Google at the end of May.

Developers have been given two sets of application programming interfaces (APIs) for Google Wave. These are a set for embedding 'waves' — the term used for sessions conducted over the services — into other webpages, and a set for adding functionality to the Wave web client.

Peterson announced the imminent public beta in a post that largely related to the Google Wave API Hackathon, held earlier this week at Google's Mountain View, California headquarters. Around 150 developers took part in the event. Overall, Peterson said, around 6,000 developers have already been given access to the Wave sandbox — an isolated online testing environment for the service — and another 20,000 access requests will be processed over the next month.

Those who are interested in applying to be one of the 100,000 users of the public beta can sign up on the Google Wave website.

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