iGoogle, 4 other projects shutting down
Search giant Google is retiring iGoogle and at least four other projects that it said did not quite make the impact it had expected.
Google global enterprise search general manager Matt Eichner said this was part of the Internet giant's spring-cleaning and streamlining efforts.
"Closing products always involves tough choices, but we do think very hard about each decision and its implications for our users. Streamlining our services enables us to focus on creating beautiful technology that will improve people’s lives," Eichner said in a blog post.
So far, he said Google has closed or combined more than 30 products.
Among the products to be retired is iGoogle, which personalizes a Google user's preferred content such as news feeds.
Eichner said iGoogle will be retired Nov. 1, 2013, with users having more than a year to export their data.
"With modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for iGoogle has eroded over time, so we’ll be winding it down. Users will have 16 months to adjust or export their data," he said.
The second product to be retired is Google Mini, an important part of Google's Enterprise Search offering since it was first introduced in 2005.
Eichner said the product's functionality can be better provided by products like Google Search Appliance, Google Site Search and Google Commerce Search.
A third product getting the axe is Google Talk Chatback, which had allowed websites to embed a Google Talk widget so they could engage with their visitors.
"It’s now outdated, so we’re turning off Chatback and encouraging websites to use the Meebo bar," he said.
Facing the boot as well is Google Video, which stopped taking uploads in May 2009 and whose remaining hosted content will moved to Google's video-sharing site YouTube.
Google Video users have until August 20 to migrate, delete or download their content, Eichner said.
"We’ll then move all remaining Google Video content to YouTube as private videos that users can access in the YouTube video manager," he added.
Still another product to be shut down is Google's Symbian Search App, so Google can focus its efforts on its mobile web search experience.
A separate article on CNET said Google has never been averse to killing underperforming projects, with its most prominent "victims" including Wave, Buzz, Friend Connect, and Aardvark.
It also killed the offline platform Gears, the Linux version of Picasa, and its knowledge-base experiment Knol.
But in many cases, CNET noted the concepts and technologies form failed projects live on.
"A lot of what Google learned from its social ventures is now embedded in Google+, and Knol's DNA can be seen in Google's new Knowledge Graph," it said. — TJD, GMA News
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