Aardvark and Google Desktop among the casualties
Google has announced a "spring clean" of its services to enable it to focus on what it calls its "high impact" products such as Google+, its latest foray into social networking.
The company will be closing 10 services that are no longer necessary following shifts in technology over the last few years.
"Technology improves, people’s needs change, some bets pay off and others don’t. So, as Larry previewed on our last earnings call, today we’re having a fall spring clean at Google," said Alan Eustace, Google’s senior vice-president. "Over the next few months we’ll be shutting down a number of products and merging others into existing products as features."
Included in the list of services that are to close is Aardvark, a social search start-up acquired last year for £50m, and Google Web Security, which was acquired as part of the Postini deal in 2007. Most of the features from Web Security have been folded into other products, such as safe browsing in Google Chrome, the company said.
Google Desktop will also be closed: "In the last few years, there’s been a huge shift from local to cloud-based storage and computing, as well as the integration of search and gadget functionality into most modern operating systems. People now have instant access to their data, whether online or offline. As this was the goal of Google Desktop, the product will be discontinued," Eustace explained.
The other services to go are: Fast Flip, Google Maps API for Flash, Google Pack, Labeler, Notebook, Sidewiki and Subscribed Links.
"This will make things much simpler for our users, improving the overall Google experience. It will also mean we can devote more resources to high impact products — the ones that improve the lives of billions of people," Eustace said,
He also confirmed that people working on the products and services at the moment will be kept on at Google and be reassigned to other areas. "As for our users, we’ll communicate directly with them as we make these changes, giving sufficient time to make the transition and enabling them to take their data with them," he added.
"We’ve never been afraid to try big, bold things, and that won’t change. We’ll continue to take risks on interesting new technologies with a lot of potential. But by targeting our resources more effectively, we can focus on building world-changing products with a truly beautiful user experience," he concluded.
Earlier this month Google announced a revamp of its Blogger platform.