Is Google Wave getting Buzzed?

That’s the question being asked by by Tom Krazit.

If Google Wave eventually fails to live up to the promise and hype that accompanied its launch at Google I/O in May 2009, consider its demise an inside job.

Arguably one of Google’s biggest announcements of last year, Google Wave appears to be an afterthought among the tech trendsetters after the launch of Google Buzz in early February. Privacy concerns mostly laid to rest, Google Buzz is actually doing much of what Google Wave promised: collaborative discussion, media sharing, and social networking within an e-mail-like framework.

So what are Google customers and users to do with two Web communication platforms? Is Google Buzz simply a stepping stone to Google Wave, as TechCrunch suggested at its launch? Or is it something more, something designed to bypass its more powerful yet complicated corporate sibling?

Don’t expect a direct answer from Google. In all fairness, that’s because it simply doesn’t know: with Wave and Buzz, Google is essentially willing to let the best idea win.

“At the end of the day, we’ll find out what users want,” said Lars Rasmussen, engineering manager for the Wave project. “If we required every product we launched not to have any overlapping functionality, that would dramatically slow down our innovation.”

So: we’ll find out in due course. Personally I’m not convinced that users have a need for either Wave or Buzz.