Google is marching ahead with its “spring clean” campaign, which started last autumn with full vigour as it announces death sentence to five more of its products. The services to go out in this summer include the once popular iGoogle, the now irrelevant Google Video, and the never-heard-before Google Talk Chatback, Symbian search app and Google mini.
This kind of cleanup marks a shift in company strategy as it mulls new products every year, and has even entered the hardware segment with the launch of Nexus 7 tablet and Nexus Q social entertainment device. This is also being seen as the effect of the co-founder Larry Page taking over as CEO after Eric Schmidt left last year. So now, let’s pay tribute to the departing services that would be making their way out soon:
iGoogle: This customisable homepage of Google once used to be the favourite home page of people when they needed to have weather, news and horoscope right up front. But now, this combination of RSS reader and widgets has eroded in its use since we all have apps on our smartphones for the same purpose. Also, we hardly seem to close our browsers hence the need for a decorative homepage has long gone. Google has given 16 months to people for transferring their data out of iGoogle.
Google Video: It’s surprising that this service was being dragged along till now given that Google owns the largest online video-sharing site YouTube. Once regarded as a comprehensive video-search tool courtesy Google’s huge databases, this service is completely irrelevant today. It stopped accepting uploads as early as May 2009, and will be turned off completely on August 20. As for the videos still in there, they will be exported to YouTube’s private channels.
Other services to go out are – Google Talk Chatback, which is a text chat for Web publishers (owners of websites on Internet) and which Google desires to replace with Meebo, its acquisition from last month; the Symbian search app for phones running Nokia’s Symbian OS and which is as useful today as the OS itself (pun intended); and lastly Google Mini, the enterprise search application of Google whose functionality is now being provided by Google Site Search, Google Search Appliance and Google Commerce Search.
You think that’s the end of the list? No. Google flushed out a whole lot of services this April, like Patent Search Tool, Google Flu Vaccine Finder, Google Sync for BlackBerry, Picasa for Linux and Picasa album uploader for Mac. For all I can say, shedding off such extra weight is a healthy habit for a company that keeps churning out new products and services regularly.
In the end, RIP.