A blog by Jacob
Posted in Technicalon Mar 15, 2013
In this year’s spring cleaning, Google was bold enough to kill off Google Reader, a product that they had been supporting for over 7 years. Considering Google’s lack of restraint in discontinuing even popular products, the list of Google services that may get cut next suddenly gets bigger:
Google Offers tries to play in an over-saturated market of daily deal sites. Google may decide to stop offering Offers directly, and role that functionality into Google Shopping.
Google Checkout plays better in some use cases than in others. Google may decide to refine the scope of Wallet/Checkout, perhaps restricting its use as a third party checkout system, where Paypal maintains a stronghold.
Google Finance hasn’t seen a significant update in many years. Being a non-essential componenet to the Google portfolio, Finance may find itself in the same situation of Reader with decreased usage and lack of profitability.
Google Toolbar for IE will likely see decreased usage because of IE 10 and Windows 8. Most Google fans will probably just use Google Chrome instead, leaving little motivation for Google to continue supporting Toolbar.
Google Picasa is an oddity. It doesn’t appear to fit well into any of Google’s main strategies. It is also one of Google’s few remaining desktop installed software offering. I don’t think Google will kill Picasa, but they may decide to sell it off to someone else.
Google Talk for Windows may go away as Google pushes people to use chat in Gmail, Google+, or mobile apps. Talk may service spring cleanings depending on how it plays into the Google Apps for Businesses strategy.
Google Voice allows you to have a single phone number that connects to all your phones. But with many people ditching land lines in favor of their (Android) phone, Google Voice is looking more and more obsolete.
Orkut probably still has quite the following in various geographies, but it seems odd that Google would want to continue two competing social platforms.
Google Alerts is a minor feature that isn’t very well used, so I could see it going away in favor of other Google efforts.
Google News is a lot like Google Reader, in that it aggregates articles from all sorts of other sites, and doesn’t contain any advertising. With more people being alerted to news from their social media sites, and with news providers requiring paid subscriptions for online access, discontinuing Google News would be about as bold as discontinuing Google reader.