Google to Kill off 7 Products
Google has announced that it is dropping seven more products in an effort to simplify its range of services. The out-of-season “spring clean” brings an end to services including Google Wave, Knol and Google Gears. It is the third time that the US firm has announced a cull of several of its products at the same time after they had failed to take off. Experts said the strategy might put off users from signing up to new services.
“We’re in the process of shutting a number of products which haven’t had the impact we’d hoped for, integrating others as features into our broader product efforts, and ending several which have shown us a different path forward,” said Urs Holzle, Google’s vice president of operations.
“Overall, our aim is to build a simpler, more intuitive, truly beautiful Google user experience,” he added.
The seven latest products earmarked for the chop are as follows:
- Google Wave – an attempt to combine email and instant messaging for real-time collaboration
- Google Bookmarks List – a service which allowed users to share bookmarks with friends
- Google Friends Connect – allowed webmasters to add social features to their sites by embedding a snippet of code
- Google Gears – much-hyped effort to maintain web browser functionality when working offline
- Google Search Timeline – a graph of historical query results
- Knol – a Wikipedia-style project, which aimed to improve web content
- Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal – a project which aimed to find ways to improve solar power
Google had previously announced its plans to kill off some of the projects on the list. It has now given details about when the switch-offs will occur. For example Wave will be retired in April, and Knol content will be taken offline in October.
Some experts think that Google is streamlining in order to concentrate on its Facebook rival Google+.
The network gained 10 million users within the first 16 days after its private launch, and 40 million within the first 100 days, making it the fastest-growing social network in the history of the web.
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