Government // Mobile & Wireless
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7/5/2012
01:44 PM
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Google Plans End Of iGoogle

Google continues its product purge, with five more products getting the axe.

Google on Tuesday continued amputating products and services as part of its "spring cleaning" campaign, a move that has prompted a deluge of complaints in the iGoogle support forum. Having already shut down more than 30 products and services since starting its purge last fall, Google is eliminating five more.

Four are unlikely to be missed. Google is discontinuing its Google Mini search appliance, a rack-mountable search server for businesses that sells for $2,990 to $9,990. Google will stop selling the Mini at the end of July "because its functionality can be better provided by products like Google Search Appliance, Google Site Search, and Google Commerce Search," said Matt Eichner, Google general manager of enterprise search, in a blog post.

Google doesn't disclose the price of the Google Search Appliance, the post-steroid version of the Mini. When it did, the device started at $30,000. The company's decision to drop the more modestly priced Mini appears to reflect its interest in promoting cloud-based services over on-premises software and hardware, at least among small businesses where traditional IT is less entrenched.

[ For more on Google's housecleaning, see Google Continues Product Purge. ]

Google is also eliminating Google Talk Chatback, a widget that allows websites to embed the Google Talk interface. Google is encouraging users of the Chatback widget to try an installable toolbar from Meebo, which it acquired in June.

Google Video, closed to new video submissions since 2009, is finally being euthanized. Users have until August 20 to migrate, download, or delete their videos. After this date, Google will archive Google Video content on YouTube as private videos.

Google's Symbian Search App is being shut down. Eichner encourages Symbian users to use mobile web search instead.

Finally, Google plans to close iGoogle, its personalizable home page, come November 2013. The company introduced iGoogle in May 2007 when it was still trying to figure out social computing. At the time, Google saw iGoogle as a way to make search and advertising more relevant through personalization. Marissa Mayer, VP of search products and users experience at the time, described iGoogle gadgets as "a new unique form of advertising."

Perhaps that new form of advertising didn't work out, or perhaps iGoogle didn't fit the Google+ social mandate. According to Eichner, the availability of apps that run on Chrome and Android has "eroded" the need for iGoogle.

iGoogle's many users don't see it that way. A discussion thread presently numbering almost 1,000 posts in the iGoogle support forum disputes Google's reasoning and chastises the company for encouraging users to move to other services.

"I don't understand the rationale," wrote an iGoogle user identified as Mark. "Chrome runs apps, so that make iGoogle outdated? That is like saying my TV shows movies, so we should close the grocery store. iGoogle is my home page, full of bookmarks, news, weather, and customized info that I have lovingly developed and improve on every day. Whenever my browsers open at home or at work, they open to iGoogle. And you think it would be good if I changed this to Yahoo? I hope you can be persuaded to change your minds."

If Google remains committed to abandoning iGoogle, there will be several million people who may consider alternatives like NetVibes, Feedly, and My Yahoo.


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GeorgeT741
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GeorgeT741,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/11/2013 | 8:34:38 AM
re: Google Plans End Of iGoogle
An interesting alternative to iGoogle is also Startific. It displays icons and
widgets, connects all your favorite links and all your bookmarks, etc and
organize them into a pretty nice interface, like you probably haven't seen in a
quite while, check it if you want at www.Startific.com
nmahoney604
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nmahoney604,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/8/2012 | 6:34:43 AM
re: Google Plans End Of iGoogle
Or a person could create his/her own website putting all the pieces back together. not as easy as iGoogle, but do-able.
nmahoney604
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nmahoney604,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/8/2012 | 6:32:46 AM
re: Google Plans End Of iGoogle
I've been mad when Google fusses with stuff and moves stuff around on iGoogle. Now I'm really not happy.
That said, ITHelpdesk had a good suggestion.
Comments about using iGoogle as a homepage are right on target.
And I do use iGoogle on mobile devices -- not my phone but iPad and Android tablet.
Just wish I didn't have to consider using Yahoo or Bing! But I rely heavily on the iGoogle "have it all in one place" availability in work and for personal use.
saveigoogle.org
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saveigoogle.org,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/7/2012 | 4:05:42 AM
re: Google Plans End Of iGoogle
Andrew, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to monetize iGoogle. Google has done it with Gmail and other services through reasonable ad placement...people have learned to live with it because they have learned to understand its the "price for a free service". And, many iGoogle gadgets have aAdsense ads to help defer developers' costs (recognizing some are better placed than others)...obviously Google benefits from that.

If you care to, check out http://SaveiGoogle.org for links to iGoogle resources and petitions along with facebook and twitter pages. ThereG«÷s more to come as we have time to spin up the website content and social presence.
Andrew Hornback
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Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/7/2012 | 2:20:36 AM
re: Google Plans End Of iGoogle
Google, just like Facebook, is an advertising platform.

If it costs more for them to maintain the platform than the platform is creating in revenue, it's not worth it to the bottom line (and therefore the shareholders) for them to keep running it.

Once you go public, you can't afford to be the nice guy and keep services available that aren't profitable.

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor
ANON1246894561566
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ANON1246894561566,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/6/2012 | 7:36:02 PM
re: Google Plans End Of iGoogle
iGoogle has been a great homepage for me. If they drop it, I'll be looking for a replacement home page.
ps2os2
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ps2os2,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/6/2012 | 6:53:24 PM
re: Google Plans End Of iGoogle
The Google function of changing google appearance was quite interesting as I use it on my IPAD. The same old google page is quite boring. I do not see the harm in keeping the page changing. I guess I will have to start looking at BING.
lfrerichs1558
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lfrerichs1558,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/6/2012 | 6:39:00 PM
re: Google Plans End Of iGoogle
I too wonder what they expect people to migrate to? Do they expect people to use Google Sites to create a landing page (or just take the easy path and switch to Yahoo)?
charlie468
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charlie468,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/6/2012 | 3:21:25 AM
re: Google Plans End Of iGoogle
I love my iGoogle. I suppose when it is gone there will be no reason not to take another look at IE. I went to Chrome a long time ago but IE has caught up with speed and tabs.
ITHelpdesk
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ITHelpdesk,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/5/2012 | 8:55:43 PM
re: Google Plans End Of iGoogle
Google must be analyzing the number of people that click the ads when using iGoogle. If they're not making enough ad revenue with igoogle, they discontinue it.

What they don't understand is that when people use their services, it gets users to use their other services. Only one of my gadgets on my igoogle page out of my 19 rss feeds has an ad it and was probably placed there by the gadget developer.

An alternative:
You can create a google sites (http://sites.google.com) website and add all the rss feeds there which is most likely what I will be doing. I have been in IT Support for over 10 years and have used iGoogle as my homepage for as long as I can remember. With the Google Sites website, I will be able to share my igoogle page with everyone else without having to login.

www.jeremyscholz.com
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