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10/14/2011
01:55 PM
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Google Kills Buzz In Friday Product Purge

Code Search and iGoogle's social features are also among the Google products getting the axe.

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Fridays have long been favored by organizations as the designated day to release bad news. The ritual has come to be known as the Friday News Dump. While Google may fancy itself an unconventional company, it has taken the decidedly conventional route of announcing product executions on Fridays.

On Friday, June 24th, Google announced the shutdown of Google Health and Google PowerMeter. On Friday, September 2, Google said it would discontinue 10 other products, including Aardvark, Google Desktop, and Google Notebook.

And Friday, October 14, brings a new round of product closures. Google VP of product Bradley Horowitz said that Google Code Search, Jaiku, iGoogle's social features, and the University Research Program for Google Search will be shut down on January 15, 2012.

He also said that Google Buzz will be shut down in a few weeks, and that users will be able to export their content using Google Takeout. Buzz has floundered since its bungled launch and ceased to have much reason for being following the introduction of Google+.

In addition, Horowitz confirmed that the previously announced closure of Google Labs will occur as planned Friday and that Boutiques.com and the former Like.com websites will be replaced by Google Product Search.

"Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past," said Horowitz in a blog post. "We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today's announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome."

[ What's working at Google? Android, Chrome, Google+, and Search Advertising. ]

During Google's Q3 2011 earnings conference call for investors Thursday, CEO Larry Page said he would continue his policy of "putting more wood behind fewer arrows." Page said that Google's goal was to "create products people use twice a day, like a toothbrush."

Horowitz upped the ante on that talking point, stating in his post that Google aspires to build "products that [people] use two or three times a day."

What this means is that Google's long tail is getting cut short. Quirky, experimental products, the sort that may not appeal to a mass audience, are likely to be fewer and farther between, and those that still survive at Google are likely to struggle for air.

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FarVision
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FarVision,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2011 | 6:18:13 PM
re: Google Kills Buzz In Friday Product Purge
Strange. I thought Google Desktop was used more. I certainly use it.
jrapoza
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jrapoza,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2011 | 5:45:09 PM
re: Google Kills Buzz In Friday Product Purge
I completely understand the reasoning behind killing most of these apps and the strategy of putting more wood behind fewer arrows. But many of Google's most successful apps got that way because a bunch of enthusiastic developers and businesses put time and resources behind doing cool things with those Google apps.
I think if I was a developer today, I would think long and hard before putting any resources into an early Google app.

Jim Rapoza is an InformationWeek Contributing Editor
Deb Donston-Miller
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Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2011 | 4:55:37 PM
re: Google Kills Buzz In Friday Product Purge
I don't think this is a surprise to anyone. I also think that businesses' increasing use of Google products means that the company doesn't have the leeway it used to in terms of when and how it rolls out products and updates. If it wants its products to play in the enterprise space, it has to play by enterprise rules. A double-edged sword, in a way, but it sounds like Google is realizing that it needs to make some changes.

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard
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