Google Angers People By Shutting Down Products

    July 8, 2012
    Chris Crum

Google has come up with a lot of great ideas over the years. The company has also acquired many great products. Sometimes Google’s ideas don’t pan out the way they want them to, however, and products get shut down. It’s happened a lot since co-founder Larry Page stepped back into the CEO role. Google’s latest round of “spring cleaning” came this week, when the company announced it would shut down: The Google Mini, Google Talk Chatback, Google Video, iGoogle and the Google Symbian Search App.

What products has Google shut down that you wish they hadn’t? Let us know in the comments.

Here are some of the other services Google has shut down since Page took over as CEO in April of last year:

Google Buzz
Google Wave
Code Search
Google Labs
Google Bookmarks Lists
Google Friend Connect (for non-Blogger sites)
Google Gears
Google Search Timeline
Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal (REGraveyard for failed Google products on Pinterest.

While Google may not find many of its products worth keeping around, there are almost always users who did use them, and are unhappy that about their demise. Fans were furious about Super Poke Pets, for example. Now, there has been a fair amount of outcry regarding iGoogle.

As previously reported, Google’s forums have been getting a lot of negative feedback about the decision. Perhaps if enough people express continued interest in the product, Google will decide to keep it after all. I doubt it, but perhaps.

Here are some of the comments Drew Bowling pulled out of the forum in the other article:

I am flabbergasted by Google’s decision to drop iGoogle I have used it daily as my homepage since it’s initial launch and have no clue what I might use as a similar alternative.

Conrad, please do NOT kill iGoogle. I use it as my browser home page for my office desktop, home laptop, GNex and Android tablet. It perfectly aggregates my feeds and information from my favorite sites – and it how I learned about iGoogle being killed off.

I am switching to Netvibes and washing my hands with Google. Time after time they cancel or change services I use and I’m tired of it.

What was the point of “supporting iGoogle over the years”, when the “support” of tens of millions of users simply ends up with the plug being pulled?

Nice, get rid of the ONE thing I use daily… Good thinking, Google, I love it. What a bunch of dummies.

I’ve tolerated a lot of google changes. And not all have been bad. Overall, I think I’ve been pretty accepting of change, but this goes way too far.

really bad move google. i will never have a smart phone, so your blithe expectation of me to use apps to replace igoogle is misplaced at best.

Incredibly bad move. Have used iGoogle for yeras. Will now try to find an alternative to all google products as soon as I can….

Dude, this sucks! iGoogle is my home page on every computer I own and synchronizes everything between work and home.

Truly insane. You can’t tell me the meager resources used to keep what is basically a glorified newsreader up and running would seriously impinge upon Google’s other projects. I’ve defended Google for many years, but no longer. It’s a very poor practice to junk a product without an alternative waiting in the wings. Shame on you for basically abandoning users like me.

Sad news. I wish they would’ve discontinued Google+ instead.

Uh the whole RATIONALE behind retiring iGoogle is ‘eroding’ support. Really, Really, More like you just wanting to push the app store out there.

“On November 1, 2013, iGoogle will be retired,” Google says. “We originally launched iGoogle in 2005 before anyone could fully imagine the ways that today’s web and mobile apps would put personalized, real-time information at your fingertips. With modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for iGoogle has eroded over time, so we’ll be winding it down. Users will have 16 months to adjust or export their data.”

On one hand, I get Google’s point about the way the web has evolved, eroding the need for something like iGoogle in the process. I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this in the past (though I’m having a hard time digging it up). For Chrome users, for example, the default home page serves just fine for many users. On the other hand, however, it seems like Google is eliminating a way to keep Google in front of more users every time they open their browser, and I’m not sure that’s the best move, especially since there do seem to be quite a few people that use it and like it.

“All of your personal data stored in other Google products will continue to be available via those products, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Finance, Google Docs (now Google Drive), Google Bookmarks, and Google Tasks,” says Google. “Other gadgets, like the to-do list, allow you to export your data – look for the ‘Download all’ option under the drop-down menu tied to the title of your list. Most iGoogle gadgets are created and maintained by third-party developers. If you’d like to export your data, you should contact the gadget creator directly.”

If you’re looking for iGoogle alternatives, Google suggests, “On your mobile device, Google Play offers applications ranging from games to news readers to home screen widgets. If you’re a fan of Google Chrome, the Chrome Web Store provides a similar range of options like productivity tools and applications to check the weather. In addition, just like iGoogle, you can personalize Chrome with a theme.”

What do you think? Are you upset to see iGoogle go? What about any of the other products? Let us know in the comments.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.