Google announced Google Wave, which as Google puts it, is what e-mail would be like if it was invented today. Many of the modern electronic messaging tools are based on older forms of communication. The e-mail is the modern letter/telegraph, and instant messaging can be seen as the modern phone conversation. Google Wave essentially becomes a real-time version of those things plus a whole slew of collaborative work tools, such as wikis, clip sharing, context based spell checking and social networking. The origin story of Google Wave is an intriguing read; I honestly believe that this is the next generation of internet communication, but the big question for me is "Will it run on an iPhone?".
The Google Wave Developer guide describes how to integrate current webapps within Wave (some of the integrations include services such as Twitter and OpenSocial) so it will be interesting to see if this develops into a Facebook-like social networking product or if becomes something that is adopted in the same fashion that e-mail and web pages have become a part of everyday digital living.
Many of Google's projects have essentially laid the groundwork for widescale web-based computing to be made possible; Google Wave is the latest brick in leveraging the power of their network applications. If we take a look at the products that Google has released, the picture is coming together as the holes in their software catalog are filled; in many ways what Google is providing is not product at all, but a service, and Wave strikes me more as an addition and integration to the services they already provide (e-mail, mapping, chat, rss reader, YouTube, etc). Just as Twitter and Wikis exploded onto the scene a few years ago, I suspect the same will be true of Wave.