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Oh, shush now. What's in a name anyways? A wave by any other name might be just as wonderful, no?

Microsoft's absolutely random decision to use Microsoft Wave as the name of a new project -- not long after the Google Wave announcement -- confuses many and irritates more. But it sure does generate some publicity. Here's what the splash is about.

Easy There Tiger, It's Just a Website

Microsoft Wave is not competition for Google's newest innovation. Google Wave is a upcoming communication and collaboration tool -- a sort of e-mail, collaboration, instant messaging, networking mashup, and Google’s idea of what e-mail would look like if it were designed today.

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Google Wave -- Quite Unlike Microsoft Wave

Microsoft Wave is, well, it's just a website. It's a website designed by the Microsoft UK office to show off some of the fancy technology that Microsoft is working on, and in some cases, maybe sell you something. In a way, you can think of this as a "hey we got some cool stuff too" kind of flag waving. In short, it's a blip, a non-event, but kind of amusing at the same time.

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Microsoft Wave -- It's, um, a Website

Much of what you see on the MS Wave website is not something CMSWire would generally cover. It's got little to do with content technologies, collaboration, social media or enterprise 2.0. Some things, like LiveMesh and pptPlex do catch our fancy though.

There are also some tools for learning about Office and Microsoft Expressions, and some fun videos to watch.

ZDNet UK's Rupert Goodwins says "It is absolutely right that Microsoft should get its best stuff together and show it off. It's one of the world's leading high technology brands, and it's refreshing to see it act like one."

Fine, great idea. But what's with the name, people?

What's in a Name?

It's not clear if the naming collision was an intentional one (right!). If there was some master plan to steal the market's attention or fragment the Google Wave brand strength, MS has a pretty mean marketing machine. They've been accused of worse.

Goodwin question's Microsoft's naming decision much like most of us do. "It's possible, certainly, that Microsoft is aiming this at people who haven't heard of Google Wave, which is to say the majority of people who aren't interested in technology. Fair enough. But why choose a name that will immediately invite comparison among the rest of us with something that has a good chance of proving itself catalytically disruptive to everything it touches?" We'll ride the cynical train here and say that they jumped on G's coattails and are taking a little ride. Malicious? That's harder to say.

Despite the Gimmick, Worth A Visit

If you are interested in technology, including gaming, then the Microsoft Wave site is worth a look. 

However, for the hearty content and collaboration geeks, well, you're probably better off elsewhere. Go test out Google Wave, or sniff around other emerging technology like Shareflow. The Shareflow solution, unlike MS Wave, might actually be a Google Wave challenger.