Google introduced a very cool technology this week called Google Wave. It is kind of a hybrid email system with integrated real time collaboration similar to IM. It has really nice UI and I like its concepts a lot. If you go to Read/Write Web, they have done some really great post.
Although I like the idea, I am concerned that people are just not going to change their behavior this much. The concept that you have an integrated conversation that is both synchronous and asynchronous is a good one, but are we really going to give up our Outlook and IM? Frankly, I doubt it.
I think a much more likely scenario is that these integrated conversations are provide by integrating our messages from our current tools and then presenting them in a powerful Web-based application. I could not give up Outlook if I wanted to. I just have too many tools based on it. I would also have a hard time giving up Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Linked-in, etc.
We are getting there. Tools like Gist, FriendFeed, MyLifeOnline, and Nameo are getting there, but I think the vision of Google Wave will stimulate a whole new way of thinking about the problem. I don't think Wave is going to change the world, but I do think it has given us new insight into what communications should look like.