It seems that Google has a hand in nearly everything, from feed readers to email to smartphones, but there are limits to the company’s patience with the products under its wing. Now Google has announced that a number of under-performers will be given the axe.
Perhaps the most significant (or at least, the only dying service I’ve used for more than a few days) is Google Desktop, which brought gadgets and search directly to the desktop experience. Though a neat trick at the time of its release in 2004, both Windows and Mac OS X now offer similar functionality, making the product redundant. Support will end on September 14th.
Other notable products that will be buried include Aardvark, a question-and-answer site brought under Google’s wing in early 2010, and Fast Flip, a service that tried to digitally replicate the style of a newspaper. While unique, neither were popular, which is no doubt why they’ll soon be gone. Less important causalities include Google Pack, Google Web Security, Google Notebook, Google Maps API for Flash, Sidewiki, Subscribed Links, and Image Labeler.
It’s doubtful any of these services will be greatly missed (queue hostile comments), but their disappearance points to a larger trend within the company. Google has been trying to streamline its product offerings, and has been switching focus to web apps exclusively. That leaves no room for experiments like Aardvark or locally installed software such as Google Desktop.
Farewell, sweet products. Some of us will miss you. Maybe. Will you miss them?
Source: PC Magazine