When it comes to web properties, Google has a ton, certainly more than the average internet-based brand. In what appears to be an effort to conduct some much needed house cleaning, the king of the search game has decided to trim its portfolio by eliminating some of its less than successful products. Here is a brief overview of the products Google is getting rid of and what their non-existence means for the rest of us.
Originally launched in 2004, Desktop was a program designed to bridge the gap between desktop and web applications for Windows users by providing a convenient way to search their system for files, emails, web pages and other content. Despite being used by millions of people during its tenure, Google felt that the move to cloud computing and the increased adoption of web-based applications among users had essentially rendered the functionality of this program obsolete. All downloads and updates for Google Desktop ceased on September 14.
Google Pack was introduced back in 2005. This beta product allowed users to download and install a package of third-party applications that ranged from voice calling with Skype to multimedia management with Real Player (in addition to a variety of Google products). Pack served its purpose in terms of giving users easy access to the functionality they required and spurring the adoption of numerous programs, but unfortunately this one never even made it out of beta before getting the axe.
Just over a year ago, Google purchased Slide for a reported $182 million. Previously owned by the company of the same name, Slide specialized in creating games and other applications for social networks like Facebook, MySpace and Bebo. Similar to the deal with YouTube, the company was able to operate as a separate entity within the Google brand, but this relationship looked to be rocky from the start. With all the focus now on Google+
, Slide became expendable. The only thing left of the Slide product line is Prizes.org, a beta project that was being handled by Slide’s team in China.
Worthy of Recycling
Users of Slide in particular are said to be pretty bummed out about the social gaming platform being shut down. One user went as far to say that he would stop using Chrome, Gmail and all other Google products if the company actually went through with it. On the bright side, Google’s clean up efforts will also see the technology from some of its discontinued products repackaged into existing offerings. For example, news discovery app Fast Flip will continue to exist in the company’s display and delivery tools, while data from online publishing tool Notebook is being exported to Google Docs.
The outrage behind the removal of Slide shows that some of Google’s discontinued products will be sorely missed. For those that failed to build such a following, most of us probably will not even notice they’re gone.