Google's real-time collaboration platform, Google Wave, is gearing up to take on more beta testers. Come September 30 (this Wednesday), Google Wave will be made available to some 100,000 users. To date, the pre-release version has only been handled by developers and selected testers.

First introduced at the Google I/O conference in May, Google Wave is an innovative personal communication and collaboration tool. It is a web-based service, computing platform and protocol designed to unite the finest aspects of email, IM, wiki, and social networking. The bodies behind Wave see it as the next-generation of Internet communication -- and based solely on the hour-long demonstration, I have to agree.

In the demo Wave was somewhat buggy, so it should be interesting to see how it's been polished, and even more so to watch it evolve over the next year. Most of the code is open source, which will allow anyone to develop its feature-set via extensions. Third-parties will be able to build their own Wave services (whether private or commercial), as Google hopes to replace the email protocol with Wave.