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Google Cuts Newspaper Program, Adds Calendar Gadget

Google gave another service the ax yesterday, this time ditching its Print Ad business. At the same time, it added a new feature to its Google Desktop program.
Google gave another service the ax yesterday, this time ditching its Print Ad business. At the same time, it added a new feature to its Google Desktop program.Google's fourth-quarter results are going to be revealed in the very near future. It's evident from the number of changes being made that the numbers probably don't look so rosy. Last week Google announced that it would shutter six of its ailing services. Looks like Google's newspaper ad business is next up on the chopping block.

The Print Ads program, which was an attempt by Google to bring in ad revenue from sources other than the Internet, is set to be closed on Feb. 28. The original goal was to convince those companies that advertise on the Internet via Google's AdWords to give print advertising a chance, potentially reaching a different audience. Some 807 newspapers participated in the program. According to Google, the program just wasn't making enough money for the newspapers involved.

"We remain dedicated to working with publishers to develop new ways for them to earn money, distribute and aggregate content, and attract new readers online," said Spencer Spinnell, director of Google Print Ads. "We have teams of people working with hundreds of publishers to find new and creative ways to earn money from engaging online content. It is clear that the current Print Ads product is not the right solution, so we are freeing up those resources to try to come up with new and innovative online solutions that will have a meaningful impact for users, advertisers, and publishers."

In somewhat more cheerful news, Google is adding some functionality to its Google Desktop product for the Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms. It has completely overhauled the Calendar gadget. Says Google, "If you want to easily keep track of your upcoming appointments right from your desktop, this new version has a cleaner interface, fully supports Google Apps calendars, and includes three different viewing modes."

Feel free to update to the latest version to check it out.