Google now has a bunch of tools to facilitate personal communications and interactions: Talk, Voice, Docs, Mail, Picasa, Orkut, etc. Googe Wave is not yet a product, but in many ways it is the most interesting of the lot. One can only wonder what comes next.
All of the products I mention above will probably consolidate somewhat through incremental improvements, but there are obvious synergies to be tapped here that requires more than slow consolidation. The main question is therefore not if Google will tap into these, but when and how. My guess is that there will be no "big bang" unification projects, but that the services will converge over some time. The end result however, will be like this:
- It will cover all the bases: For most users will be (almost) no need to escape from the Google universe whatever their communications and cooperation needs are.
- It will be tremendously open for third party innovation: This will enhance the point made above, but will do so by enabling differentiation to be performed by third party developers rather than Google itself. Very cost effective, very useful, and something Google already has ample experience with already.