Google Keeping a Closer Eye on Business Benefits
One service cut, for Google Video, isn't too big a surprise since the service stopped allowing users to upload videos in May 2009 in preparation for changes that were to come. Now any remaining user content that is on Google Video will be moved to YouTube, which is now owned by Google, according to Eichner's post. "Google Video users have until August 20 to migrate, delete or download their content. Well then move all remaining Google Video content to YouTube as private videos that users can access in the YouTube video manager." Also slated for retirement by Google is the company's Symbian Search App, which was available for use on some Nokia mobile phones for Web searching. "We encourage you to go to www.google.com and make it your homepage or bookmark it," Eichner wrote. "Switching from the app to the Web experience will enable users to make the most of the Web-wide improvements we make for search all the time."Page started the house-cleaning in June 2011 when he shuttered Google Health and PowerMeter and moved on to gradually close Google Labs products last July. The cleansing continued last August when Google closed social software unit Slide, an acquisition from last summer that worked independently of the Google+ team. Dan Kusnetzky, principal analyst with The Kusnetzky Group, said that the continuing service cutbacks and realignments mark a continuing evolution at Google as a company. "Google in the past appeared to use a strategy of letting creative people come up with new technologies without a clear business plan for how it would make them money," Kusnetzky said. "Things that did well became major product lines and those that didnt were phased out. That's different from other companies that identify the market first and then do things." As Google continues to winnow and merge its broad services, "they seem to be heading on a path to be much more like Oracle or Microsoft" in terms of more closely defining their markets, Kusnetzky said. "I think they'll look at it as though it will be inconvenient for some customers, but not for that many customers overall" since the services weren't as widely used as the company hoped they would be. "And it will save them lots of money for costly services that aren't bringing in enough money. Google is being run more today by business managers than in the past."
Last September, Google continued its spring cleaning efforts when services, including Aardvark, Desktop, Fast Flip and Image Labeler were dropped. The moves have been part of Google CEO Larry Page's "more wood behind fewer arrows" bid to put the company's focus on core products, such as search through Google.com, mobile through Android, Chrome on the desktop and YouTube for video.