Google Angers People By Shutting Down Products

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Google Angers People By Shutting Down Products
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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 (RE Realtime Search (thanks to non-renewal of Twitter deal)
University Research Program for Google Search (API access to Google search results)
Google Health
Slide (and Super Poke Pets)
Google Desktop
Fast Flip
Google Maps API for Flash
Google Pack
Google Web Security
Image Labeler
Google Notebook
Subscribed Links
Google Message Continuity
Social Graph API

Forgive me if I missed any. There's something of a Graveyard 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.

Google Angers People By Shutting Down Products
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  • http://www.nevadawebsitedesign.com Frank Okun

    It’s my opinion that Google already knows what products users use. By default, Google knows a user’s search history, IP address, etc., so why not know which Google products that user is using.

  • http://teleskopy.net Tomasz

    I’m totally shocked by decision to pull down iGoogle – I still think this is the best idea that google had beyond just being a search engine.

  • JB McKee

    I am very disappointed in iGoogle being shut down. I have used it for years and come to rely on it, particularly the widgets. Google is pretty much the king and dictator. They do whatever they want regardless of who it affects. I am really starting to hate them.

  • http://www.thesearchagents.com Grant Simmons

    There are alternatives and – surprise surprise – Google+ provides the ability to see trending topics so you can see what’s relevant to you! Certain iGoogle-like functionality is only a developer or two away. :-)

    Google is driving people to Google+ as much as possible to have a more singular focus on social signals as a targeting tool for ads and / or partners.

    It’ll either be a seminal play or a point in time when Internet historians say “this was the (negative) tipping point.”


  • http://www.ebm.my Thomas Bernthaler

    It Is quite frustrating when they buy products like Urchin and then cut it up or are interested only on one part and dump the rest. I loved Urchin and used it for years. Google bought them and were only interested in the web based product which did become the base of Google Analytic. Then Urchin 6 was discontinued and left a void in the web tracking market. I find it a security issue using Google Analytic and I miss a lot of functions. Not only this, but I feel as if they try to force me to share my traffic info and user behaviour with them for their marketing and statistical use. There is no real alternative that is priced right, all the open source stuff is substandard and the stuff that works OK like webtre3nds is so expensive that a normal person can’t buy it. I am so very suprised that google shuts down a product that fills in a complete niche without and serious competition. After all Urchin was a paid product and most users that had it were very happy to pay the license. For me this stinks into the sky because they rather give Google Analytics for free because they use the gatered information for something that I can only speculate about, bottomline for me is though that if you discontinue your payed software in favour to a free version you need to have a revenue source somewhere else. Which is why I can not trust Google with my statistical date and my users.

  • http://multimediamonsters.com/ Bill Gilmore

    I really cant believe they are stopping iGoogle. Since I started my business 2 years ago I have used iGoogle everyday. It has my synced calendar, my to do list for work, Google webmaster blog RSS and local weather. All neatly presented on my homepage. I’m gutted with this and will now need to waste time finding an alternative. Any suggestions?

  • http://www.landhouseindia.com landhouseindia

    google makes us smarter and then take us in different way..Crays guys..

  • George

    I wish they would shut down goggle period. They are trying to destroy America with all the other socialist.

  • http://jackkennard.com Jack

    I’ve been using ig for years and not sure what else to use. I use it as a newspaper, with 7 pages (by topics)with plugins and rss feeds. Not sure what else to use. It looks like Google reader does not take plugins and Google store does not take rss feeds. Any Ideas??

  • dq

    It sucks ! I use IGoogle as my home page. Gotta go someplace else.

  • IMBack?

    The ones they shut down were all crap (except maybe labs), and people should have expected it anyway. They are a private company, think of these services as “mini startups”. Just like a new store that might open up and then go out of business in your town, sure it has people who go there/use it, but maybe not enough to make it worthwhile to stay open. There are alternatives to all these services, so just find a comparable free one or pony up the dough for a paid service if you are worried about it “going away”.

  • john

    them already shutdown google webmaster support, now only bots working for them to penalize everything

  • Pluto

    To be honest, Google didn’t really seem to support iGoogle very much over the past few years, as a ton of those home page apps didn’t even work well.

  • http://www.wpcPuzzlesOnline.com Fun With Puzzles

    Any idea what are they planning to do with Google Gadgets and Google sites?

  • byron smith

    crazze ness

  • Carole Cox

    This like someone tearing down my house. Will they kill my goldfish? My hamster? My turtles? Sound silly but iGoogle has been a place where I start my day, relax and stay informed. By virtual binky. Why would they take something so functional away?

    I think they want to FORCE people to use Google+ (not an alternative, a late player to social networking).

    It seems like in a drug induced haze…they had a brain fart.

    Save the hamster!

  • Carol

    I miss Goog411 alot. It was so great to check the phone number 411 when driving. I remember it also verified the address of whatever I looked up as well.

    Probably the BEST feature was that it could dial the number you requested for you. In California, with hands-free driving, being able to look up a phone directory entry, and once verifying it, have the look-up service dial it for you was essential to avoiding a ticket AND an accident!!

    The streets are much more dangerous today, without Goog411…

  • Jake Rylan

    You left out Google Body, which Google canceled and open sourced in 2011 and has since been replicated by their former content partner for the product, Zygote, under the imaginative name, Zygote Body: http://www.zygotebody.com/

  • Lynette

    Google should do what google does best… SEARCH. But google wants to control how and what you see on the internet. THAT IS TOO MUCH POWER FOR ANY ONE COMPANY TO HAVE!!

  • http://prostatecancerblog.net leah

    Go to hell. i don’t have Android. i only use apple products.

  • http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com STEVEN J. FROMM, ATTORNEY, LL.M. (TAXATION)

    My major beef with them is that there is no way to resolve problems that arise. For example, I had two people try to post recommendations to my google + account and they could not do it. One even sent me a picture of his post. He joined google + before posting; it said it posted by it never became active. Does anyone know why? I sure do not know. Could it be that the posters need to take a second step of validation of their google + account? If so this is a lot of work for a client to do a good deed!
    Any comments or insights would be appreciated.

  • Persain Cat


  • Persain Cat

    dont kill google and youtube

  • Azalira

    It’s September 1st (in Australia :) AND the forum of iGoogle fan complaints is not only still going, but it’s GROWING! There have been thousands of posts and it seems that more people are finding the forum every day now and adding to the chorus.

    The major theme is that if Google cares so little about iGoogle users, (most of whom won’t need or use the suggested other solutions and ‘Apps’) – then masses of angry iGoogle users are and will continue to leave ALL iGoogle products as iGoogle was our link and launchpad. I for one am waiting in hope that with all of the bad vibes about this perhaps Google will change and shy away from such a bad business decision and let us keep iGoogle. (hell I’d even pay a bit to keep it) However if or when it goes I GO TOO!

    I am guessing as well that for everyone who finds the forum, there are hundreds of thousands who feel the
    same way and don’t have the time or inclination to use forums but who WILL also leave Google. This model of trialing products for a few years and get us to love them and closing them down or trying to force people into using them in predetermined ways that make you use other products you don’t like. (such as Chrome) Really smacks of old style MS coercion which is why so many of us stopped using their products as well.

    A sad day for a company who promised:
    “Since the beginning, we’ve focused on providing the best user experience possible. Whether we’re designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the homepage, we take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line.”

  • Paul S

    I thing getting rid of iGoogle is premature as there is really nothing out there that is as easy to use and configure and provide one glance view of all one’s primary interests. I am an iPad user but still prefer the one glance gadget few of everything and not in and out of apps that take second to load each. I like seeing weather, stocks, sports, joke of the day etc. on my primary browser page – main view. I think the iPad type devices should allow for a more igoogle type configuration on the opening screen rather than a bunch of “buttons” – interacting with each is somewhat sequential and slow. When the excitement dies down with the Apps world it probably will be realized there is a better way still.

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