The "year-long" spring cleaning continues at Google
Google is not done with the spring, summer, fall and winter cleaning. It just announced that several other tools and services will be shut down, open-sourced or merged into other existing products. Several products that it acquired are getting the axe, but some of its own projects are being put to sleep as well."As we head into 2012, we’ve been sticking to some old resolutions—the need to focus on building amazing products that millions of people love to use every day," Dave Girouard, VP of Product Management at Google, wrote.
"That means taking a hard look at products that replicate other features, haven’t achieved the promise we had hoped for or can’t be properly integrated into the overall Google experience," he said.
This time around, Google is getting rid of several products that it got via acquisitions. The Urchin analytics software, from which Google Analytics was built, is being shut down. No more licenses will be issued starting from March, but existing users will be able to continue to use the client-hosted software.
Needlebase, acquired along with ITA Software is also being targeted, but Google says it hopes to integrate the technology into some of its other products. Picnik, the photo editing app and service, will be shut down on April 19, 2012. The technology has been integrated into several Google products, more recently into Google+.
Some of its own projects are being shut down as well, Google Message Continuity, which offers a cloud back-up solution for Microsoft Exchange, has only been adopted by a few hundred businesses, so Google will no longer be working on it, though existing customers will still be supported.
Another Google tool that is getting shut down is the Social Graph API. Finally, the Google Sky Map app is being open sourced and the Carnegie Mellon University will continue development on it.
It all started with Larry Page becoming CEO, again. The Google cofounder took it upon himself to focus Google and get rid of projects that didn't make much sense, either because they weren't getting used or because they were not important to the company.
In the past several months, plenty of products have either been killed off or dealt with. Google Labs was the main casualty, all of its projects were either shut down or moved elsewhere.