Google has announced Google Wave, which is described as a conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. In Google Wave, users can create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on a user’s wave can use formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It’s concurrent rich-text editing, where users can see on their screen what fellow collaborators are typing in their wave. They can also use "playback" to rewind the wave and see how it evolved. Google Wave has three layers: the product, the platform, and the protocol: The Google Wave product (available as a developer preview) is the web application people will use to access and edit waves. It includes a rich text editor and other functions like desktop drag-and-drop. Google Wave is also a platform with a set of open APIs that allow developers to embed waves in other web services, and to build new extensions that work inside waves. The Google Wave protocol is the underlying format for storing and the means of sharing waves, and includes the "live" concurrency control, which allows edits to be reflected instantly across users and services.
Google also announced its plans to enter the commercial ebook business this year. The New York Times reports that publishers will be able to set their own prices and Google would retain the right to lower rates. Readers would gain online access to digital titles but also would retain access offline through cached versions in browsers and access would not be limited to certain devices but would require internet access.