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Google shuts down Google Desktop and nine other products

Google has announced today that it would be closing ten of its products, which have already been replaced by newer and better products, or that have remained unused since launch.

“Over the next few months we’ll be shutting down a number of products and merging others into existing products as features. The list is below. 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. All the Googlers working on these projects will be moved over to higher-impact products. 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,”Google stated in an official blog post.

Here are the products that will be shut down:

  • Aardvark: This product helped users answer each other’s questions by searching the internet for the most qualified person. Google had acquired Aardvark back in 2010 and was a new kind of social search.
  • Desktop: Google plans on discontinuing Google Desktop on September 14th, including “all associated APIs, services, plugins, gadgets and support.”
  • Fast Flip: Fast Flip will evolve into other display and delivery tools.
  • Google Maps API for Flash: The API will be depreciated, but the exisiting Maps API Premier customers will have support.
  • Google Pack: “Due to the rapidly decreasing demand for downloadable software in favor of web apps, we will discontinue Google Pack today. People will still be able to access Google’s and our partners’ software quickly and easily through direct links on the Google Pack website.”
  • Google Web Security: Existing customers will have support from Google, but most of the features acquired from Postini in 2007 have already been implemented in Chrome and other existing products.
  • Image Labeler: “We began Google Image Labeler as a fun game to help people explore and label the images on the web. Although it will be discontinued, a variety of online games from Google are still available.”
  • Notebook: This product enabled people to combine clipped URLs from web and free-form notes into sharable documents. Google is shutting this down and automatically exporting data into Google Docs.
  • Sidewiki: “Over the past few years, we’ve seen extraordinary innovation in terms of making the web collaborative. So we’ve decided to discontinue Sidewiki and focus instead on our broader social initiatives. Sidewiki authors will be given more details about this closure in the weeks ahead, and they’ll have a number of months to download their content.
  • Subscribed Links: “Subscribed Links enabled developers to create specialized search results that were added to the normal Google search results on relevant queries for subscribed users.” This product will be discontinued September 15th.
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