GOOGLE is shutting down Google Wave, its web-based program that lets people chat, share files and collaborate on documents in real time.
In a blog post, Google said Wave "set a high bar for what was possible in a web browser".
In September last year, Google began inviting people to test Wave, which merges email, online chat, social networking and "wiki" style group access to web pages or documents.
With the Wave, email or instant messages blossom into shared online arenas where anyone in the exchange can edit documents, add digital content, or comment at any time.
The web search and software company praised to the ability to drag files from a computer desktop into the web application and to see what someone else was typing as they typed it, character by character.
Unveiled amid much fanfare, it was supposed to revolutionise the way people communicated online, according to the Wall St Journal, and was regarded by some in the tech community as "part email, part Twitter and part instant messaging".
However, the service has proved confusing to many prospective users and will now "join a long list of failed projects that Google has launched over the years", the Wall St Journal reported.
"Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked," Google senior vice president Urs Holzle said.
Google said it will maintain the Google Wave site at least through the end of the year and its technology will find its way into other Google projects.
Parts of the code are already available as open source.
Other innovative projects scuttled or significantly pared back by Google in the past include its Dodgeball social-networking service, its Jaiku micro-blogging service and its automated radio advertising service.