Search giant Google has announced plans to phase out products that are not fetching expected results and focus on products that are doing well, in order to provide better service for users.
Explaining the move to remove products, a company blog post by Max Ibel, Director - Engineering, Google, dated August 4 states, "Over the past year we've made changes to around 50 products, features and services - donating, merging and shutting things down so we can focus on the high-impact products that millions of users employ multiple times a day."
Among the products identified for phase off are Google Apps for Teams, Google Listen and Google Video for Business.
In the designated phase off list, Google Apps for Teams launched in 2008 allowed people with a verified business or school email address to collaborate using non-email applications from Google like Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Talk. However, Google Apps for Teams was not as useful for people as originally devised. The post states how beginning September 4, 2012, Google will convert existing Google Apps for Teams accounts into personal Google Accounts and shut down Google Apps for Team. The post also reinforced the fact that changes do not affect other editions of Google Apps.
The second product, Google Listen introduced in the market through Google Labs in August 2009 gives people a way to discover and listen to podcasts. However, with Google Play users have access to wide variety of podcast apps, so the company has decided to discontinue Listen.
Users who have installed the app can continue using it but after November 1, the podcast search will cease to function. Podcast subscriptions can be accessed in Google Reader in 'Listen Subscriptions' folder and users can download them from the Import/ Export tab.
The third product is the Google video hosting and sharing solution that allows Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education customers to use video for internal communication. Identified as Google Video for Business, videos hosted on this platform will witness migration to Google Drive, which has similar storage and sharing capabilities. As per the organization's plans the migrated videos will be stored for free and not count against a user's storage quota in Google's Cloud storage service.
Besides, Google maintains 150+ blogs and communication channels about products and services and consistently plans to close several blogs that are updated infrequently or are redundant. This implies that information sharing will occur on more popular channels and not be restricted.
A PCWorld report on the topic cited how Google embarked on a house-clean drive ever since Larry Page took over as CEO and shifted to a product-focused management structure.
Earlier, Google announced that it will retire iGoogle from November 2013. Further, in September 2011 Google announced the closure of services such as Aardvark and Flip and also plans to discontinue products such as Google Buzz, Google Labs, and Boutiques.com.
In November 2011, Google announced the closure of Gears, Wave, and Knol among others. Citing how the organization views the closure of products, Ibel wrote: "Technology has the power to change people's lives. But to make a difference, we need to carefully consider what to focus on, and make hard decisions about what we won't pursue. This enables us to devote more time and resources giving you products you love and making them better for you."