Google continues product ‘spring cleaning’ with more cuts
04 July 2012
The Google axe is swinging down on several of its services including iGoogle, Google Video and Google Mini.
Homepage customisation portal iGoogle will close down on 1 November 2013, giving users time to export any data. The product has been criticised for no longer being relevant as homepage portals no longer have such a strong user base. The search giant claims that the need for iGoogle has “eroded” over time and has been superseded by platforms such as Chrome and Android.
Google Video will be closing down much sooner and will go offline on August 20 this year. The service stopped accepting video uploads in May 2009 and all existing content will migrate over to Youtube, which Google acquired in 2006.
Enterprise search service Google Mini will begin to be discontinued from July 31 as the functionality it provides is replicated by other Google services Google Search Appliance, Google Site Search and Google Commerce Search. Existing customers will, however, still receive technical support for the duration of their contracts.
Google’s Symbian Search App is also being phased out as the mobile platform’s market share continues to fade away and website instant messaging widget Google Talk Chatback is being turned off following Google’s acquisition of Meebo last month.
“Closing products always involves tough choices, but we do think very hard about each decision and its implications for our users,” says Google global enterprise search general manager Matt Eichner. “Streamlining our services enables us to focus on creating beautiful technology that will improve people’s lives.”
Google started its ‘spring clean’ last September following the appointment of new chief executive Larry Page at the beginning of 2011. The company aims to trim out older or obsolete services so that it can focus on creating newer services that are more relevant to the rapidly developing web.
One of Google’s most recent moves was to acquire mobile handset manufacturer Motorola, paving the way for the company to start creating its own hardware. It is still working closely with third parties however and last week revealed a new entry into the tablet market with the Nexus 7, built by Asus.
David Hing, London