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Google kills off Wave, announces that existing conversations will be deleted if they aren’t exported

In a few short weeks, Google Wave will be history… and the data contained within Wave conversations will become inaccessible (though Google will probably retain copies):

As we announced in August 2010, we are not continuing active development of Google Wave as a stand-alone product. Google Wave will be shut down in April 2012. This page details the implication of the turn down process for Google Wave.

Stage 1: Google Wave is read-only — January 31, 2012

In this stage, you will no longer be able to create or edit waves. Marking a wave as read will also not be saved.

Robots that try to write to a wave will stop functioning.

During this time, you will continue to be able to export your waves using the existing PDF export feature. You’ll still be able to read existing waves and access the Google Wave client.

If you want to continue using Wave, there is an open source project called Walkaround that includes an experimental feature to import all your waves from Google.

Stage 2: Google Wave shut down — April 30, 2012

In this stage, all the Google Wave servers will be shut down and you will no longer be able to get to your waves. Make sure to export any waves you want to save before that time.

Once upon a time, Google Wave had the tech press enthralled. But that was in 2009. Now it’s 2012, and Google, having made the decision that Wave is expendable, is shutting down the service – though the underlying software has been open sourced and will live on, maintained by the Apache Foundation, the proprietary software industry’s favorite receptacle for orphaned and abandoned projects.

(The Foundation assumed control of the Wave codebase late last year; it also received control of from Oracle. Consequently, Google Wave is now Apache Wave, short for Wave-in-a-box).