I have written before about Google Wave (see http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2009/05/googles-wave.html and http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2009/07/update-google-wave.html). Wave allows customers to create a customizable communications and collaboration tools without any software other than an Internet browser. It is a distributed, peer-to-peer collaboration and conversation platform that would seem to work for genealogy purposes as well as for many other applications. Best of all, an application written in Google Wave will operate on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems.
All of this is speculative, as Google has not yet released the product. However, the company has now announced a release date for the first beta version: September 30.