Google shutters Flu Vaccine Finder and Google Related, and ends Patent Search as a separate website, in ongoing trimming of services.
10 Ways To Get More From Your Android Device
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Google says it's doing "spring cleaning" by closing services, but the company has made product pruning an ongoing activity since Larry Page became CEO a year ago.
To hear Page explain it, the impulse to close disappointing products has something to do with "putting more wood behind fewer arrows." The best thing that can be said about that metaphor is that it's more appealing than his personal hygiene metaphor: Google's goal, he has said, is "to create services that people in the world use twice a day just like a toothbrush."
"Making changes to products or services is hard, but we do need to maintain our focus if we are to do important things that matter in the world," said Matthias Schwab, Google's director of cloud services, in a blog post.
How hard it is? Not hard enough to prevent Google from terminating more than three dozen products, services, and APIs last year.
In the latest round, Google is closing Google Flu Vaccine Finder, the company's vaccination-locator; Google Patent Search, a site specifically designed for finding patents; and Google Sync for Blackberry, an app that allows BlackBerry devices to sync data with Google.
Other services are being eliminated without alternatives. Google Related, an experimental Chrome extension and toolbar feature that provided searchers with references to related topics, will be retired in a few weeks. Google OnePass, a payment platform for online news publishers, is being shut down--evidently no one wants to pay for online news. Picasa for Linux and two Picasa plug-ins for Mac users--Picasa Web Albums Uploader for Mac and Picasa Web Albums Plugin for iPhoto--are being discontinued.
Despite years of insisting that the Web is the platform of the future, Google is also shutting down the mobile Web app for Google Talk and is advising users to try the native Google Talk app on Android or other XMPP-compliant apps on other mobile platforms.
Google is also deprecating--declaring intent to end support at some future time--a handful of APIs and shifting to a one-year deprecation policy for APIs. The company previously had a three-year deprecation policy for some services. Services now under a one-year API deprecation policy include Google App Engine, Google Cloud Store, Google Maps/Earth, and YouTube.
APIs being deprecated include the Moderator API, the Legacy Portable Contacts API, parts of the Account Authentication APIs (ClientLogin, AuthSub, and OAuth 1.0), and Google Chart Tools. Non-current versions of the APIs for Spreadsheets, Contacts, Documents List, and Freebase are also being deprecated. And Google has declared that Finance API and Feedburner Administrative APIs, deprecated last year, will be shut down on October 20, 2012.
Nominate your company for the 2012 InformationWeek 500--our 24th annual ranking of the nation's very best business technology innovators. Deadline is April 27. Organizations with $250 million or more in revenue may apply for the 2012 InformationWeek 500 now.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
IT Strategies to Conquer the CloudChances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.