Other Google Products Getting the Ax

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-11-23 Print this article Print


A few other little-used, nonstrategic products are also getting the ax.  

Google Gears, the tool Google created to enable offline access to Gmail, Calendar and offline Web apps, is nearing end of life as the company transitions to HTML5.

Google stopped supporting its Gears browser extension for creating offline Web apps and stopped supporting new browsers last March. On Dec. 1 this year, Gears-based Gmail and Calendar offline will stop working across all browsers. Shortly after that, Gears will no longer be available for download.

Google Bookmarks Lists, an experimental feature for sharing bookmarks and collaborating with friends, will cease working Dec. 19. However, all bookmarks within Lists will be retained and labeled for easier identification, while the rest of Google Bookmarks will function as usual.

The Google Search Timeline, a graph of historical results for a query, has already been removed. Google noted that users will be able to restrict any search to particular time periods using the refinement tools on the left-hand side of the search page; try Google Trends; and access Google Insights for Search for data created since 2004.

Finally, Google is nixing another green venture. Following its shuttering of Google Power Meter, the company is closing Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal. RE<C was created to decrease the cost of renewable energy by improving solar power technology.

"At this point, other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level," explained Urs H??élzle, senior vice president of operations and Google Fellow, in a blog post.

Google published its results to help others with the work. Google is still big on solar energy, building its own solar-powered mirrors, and has invested over $850 million in green technology.

These latest products cuts represent the fourth round of product shutdowns since Google CEO Larry Page took the helm from Eric Schmidt in April. The late Apple founder Steve Jobs advised Page to focus on doing about five things really well and get rid of the rest.

Google search, YouTube and Google+ are among the keepers, after Google cut Google Health, its whole Slide business unit and several other disparate Web services.



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