Well, it looks like the brooms and axes are out at Google today, for a little late-summer cleaning. The company announced via its blog today that some of its products and features will be riding into the sunset in the very near future. This news was previewed by CEO Larry Page on Google’s quarterly earnings call in July, who said at the time that the search giant would be doing a wee bit of spring, er, early fall cleaning.
Okay, so some of Google’s products (that were growing sluggishly or not at all) are being put out to pasture, but what does that mean for Google employees? According its blog, these products will be killed off over the next few months, and some products will be merging into others to become complementary features. For Googlers, all those working on those products will either go with the merge or be reassigned to other “higher impact” projects.
Google’s reason for this spring cleaning is really just to use this as why-the-heck-not opportunity to streamline, shed a little weight, and continue to focus on making the user experience simple for its users. Just hope they don’t overdo it.
As for users, Google says it will reach out to them directly as they make changes.
Google started off by killing off nearly all of its Slide products, and today MG covered the sunsetting of Aardvark, which Google had bought back in February 2010 for $50 milion. Co-founder Max Ventilla said that Aardvark will be kaput by the end of the month.
Also hitting the road are:Google Desktop (or the quick search box), which will be discontinued September 14, “including all the associated APIs, services, plugins, gadgets, and support; Fast Flip, the service designed to innovate in the news content browsing space for the web and mobile; Google Maps API for Flash (nooooooooo), which Sarah covered earlier here; Google Pack (a.k.a. Google Fannypack); Google Web Security; Image Labeler; Notebook (which we haven’t exactly loved since the beginning), all of the data from which will be exported automatically to Google Docs; Sidewiki; and Subscribed Links (developers will be able to access data in Subscribed Links until September 14).
Excerpt image courtesy of SEO-Social Media.