Google recently announced that they will shortly discontinue a number of projects and integrate some with other existing or newly introduced projects. This is being done with a view to “simplify matters for users and to improve the over all Google experience”.
Among the projects that will be affected by this decision are Aardvark, Desktop, Fast Flip, Google Maps API for Flash, Google Pack, Google Web Security, Image Labeler, Notebook, Sidewiki and Subscribed Links.
Aardvark is a question and answer social search site. Notebook was used to clip and save URL, text, and images. Fast Flip was a tool to enable fast news browsing and sharing. Sidewiki was an early social search effort that allowed users to read and comment on any website. Subscribed Links allowed users to customise search results.
The common theme with all these services was that they were attempts at socialising search.
Now that Google has introduced a new social network in the form of Google Plus and it is actually turning out to be more successful than any of the previous attempts, they will shut down all of these social sites and focus on strengthening Google +1.
Additionally, Google’s shutting down or gradually discontinuing a number of other services, some of which were quite popular. These include Google Ddesktop and several APIs, plugins and gadgets it supports, Google Maps API for Flash, Google Pack, Google Web Security and Image Labeler. Components and features from many of these services are already visible in newer Google offerings and will continue to be used in other Google services.
The changes were initiated by Larry Page to improve overall efficiency. Alan Eustace, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Research has reportedly said, “We’ll continue to take risks on interesting new technologies with a lot of potential, but by targeting our resources more effectively, we can focus on building world-changing products with a truly beautiful user experience.”