Google Axes Dodgeball, Jaiku, Video and More

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At Google, when it rains, it pours. In the wake of announcing its first round of layoffs this afternoon, Google has released several blog posts detailing the upcoming shutdown of a number of services (compiled here by Danny Sullivan). Included among the upcoming closures are: Google Notebooks, Google Catalogs, Dodgeball, Google Video, Google Mashup Editor, and future development of Jaiku (though the service will live on).

Below we’ve summarized the upcoming changes:

Jaiku is currently being ported to Google App Engine, and will be released as an open source project on Google Code. However, while there will be no further development from Google, it will continue to stay online.

Dodgeball, which allows users to share their current locations using SMS messages, will be discontinued entirely though Google has yet to establish a timeframe more specific than “a couple of months”.

The Mashup Editor (which is in private beta) is being replaced by App Engine. (Click here for Google’s post on Jaiku, Dodgeball, and its Mashup Editor).

Google Notebook will continue to function for current users, but will no longer accept new ones. However, existing users won’t be able to use the browser extension, which makes the service significantly less useful. Among Google’s suggestions for replacements are SearchWiki, Google Docs, Tasks (Gmail), and Google Bookmarks.

Catalog Search was meant to demonstrate Optical Character Recognition, and fit the bill nicely. Now it has fallen out of favor as attention has shifted to Google’s Book Search.

Finally, Google Video will have its upload capabilities disabled in a few months, though users will still be able to watch content that’s already in the system. This has been a long time coming, as Google Video has largely been considered redundant following Google’s acquisition of YouTube in 2006.

It’s unclear at this point if this is the start of a new trend: has Google slashed all it’s going to in the upcoming months, or are the future of its less popular products in doubt? Knol, Google’s Wikipedia competitor, has largely failed to catch on. And what about Grand Central – the advanced telecom service that has a devout fan base, but still hasn’t been released to the general public?

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