Google is apparently satisfied enough with its pre-release Google Wave project that the company today started rolling out a preview version, although it’s only available to some users. Wave (see “Google Wave Explained” at GigaOM Pro, subscription required) has already been available for a tiny group of developers for some time, but now more than 100,000 invitations to try it in its newest incarnation will go out to active preview developers, the first users who signed up and offered to give feedback upon Wave’s announcement, as well as to some customers of Google Apps. There are even signs that people who received invites are giving them to others who didn’t.
Wave, when it was first introduced in May, was hailed by many people as a next-generation, cutting-edge communications tool. It combines email, instant messaging, wiki features and more into a splashy-looking unified stream of messages, images and thoughts, as seen in the screenshot here. For a more in-depth look, check out this video of Wave in action. Google has served up some interesting examples of how Wave might be used, and although there is room to reserve some skepticism about it, given the erratic history of “unified communications” applications, it’s a project to watch. For more, check out WebWorkerDaily.