Google gave Wave about a year to find its market; it never did. So Google moved on, retiring Wave in mid-2010. They open sourced most of Wave and provided an open reference implementation for the parts they wouldn’t release. Apache Foundation took it over and work continues on this collaborative authoring and messaging system.
While Google gave notice to its Wave users, there were no wave hosting services of note in 2010, so no user migration path.
Benefits of setting your apps free to the open source world as part of EOL:
- You hurt code contributors’ feelings less if they know the code has the potential for a second life.
- You enable some customers to lead their own investment in the product. Specifically, those customers suffering from a lack of control over their destiny and a burning need to keep the product alive. This is a variant on selling the whole product to customers.
- I know of no accounting benefit. Your FOSS license, however, may supplement your product’s asset write-down statement.
- Open source can be a product time capsule, preserving an option to return to an old product later. Should your product find a good home and its own open source community, it might be kept fresh and relevant. The alternative is obsolescing code locked on a shelf, with diminishing chances of future value.
This is nearly as good as it gets in practice.