If things at Google HQ are running according to plan, then invites for Google Wave should be going out around now. The company told the BBC that it plans to open the service to 100,000 beta testers from 1600BST on 30 September.

Each of those invited will get five invites to pass out to their friends (or put on eBay, where they'll not doubt fetch a respectable sum). It'll work in any browser except IE6, which isn't compatible with HTML5 - however you'll be able to install Google's "Chrome Frame" to get it working in the browser - something Microsoft has advised against.

Google Wave is billed as a "communication and collaboration tool" by its creator Lars Rasmussen. It puts conversations in "the cloud", he says, and includes functions like real-time typing and conversations being more accuratedly threaded and able to be "played back" at a later date".

We'll bring you a full hands-on first look of Google Wave as soon as possible.