Google Closing Products

March 17th, 2013 by Potato

I’ve been saddened by a rash of product shutdowns by Google. Lately the announcement that Reader was being shut down is making waves, but that’s the third Google product I use that got shut down.

First there was Sync, which was awesome. It was a blackberry app that synced my contacts, some other crap, and importantly, my calendars with my BB. After shutting it off there is still a mechanism to sync the blackberry calendar and contacts list with Google’s — but it is far inferior. In particular, Google Sync was able to figure out that I can have more than one calendar in my account, whereas the crap I’m left with will only sync the main calendar, forcing me to manually sync up with my shared calendars.

Then iGoogle was given the kiss of death. It still operates, but constantly reminds me that it will be “sunsetting” soon. For those that didn’t try it, it was just a way to customize your Google homepage. You’d have your usual search box, and then boxes for RSS feeds or little widgets. It was basically what the Windows 8 start screen was except better and properly encapsulated in a web browser. And now, Reader will be going too.

The thing is, I don’t understand why they’re being killed off. Was Sync really so hard to maintain? Does syncing all my calendars through an app take up much more Google bandwidth than having my BB sync one?

4 Responses to “Google Closing Products”

  1. Michael James Says:

    Does Google have anything that will remain for reading feeds? I’ve relied on Reader for quite a while.

  2. Netbug Says:

    Yeah. It’s a pain in the ass. The Google Reader API is used by a HUGE number of third party applications and sites.

    I realize that they aren’t generating a lot of revenue directly from it, but I cannot imagine that they can’t figure out how to monetize the massive amounts of consumer data that could be mined from it.

    And no, there will be no more Google Reader. Here’s LifeHackers top 5 alternatives:

  3. This and That: Grantham Interview, RESPs and Another Giveaway | Canadian Capitalist Says:

    […] Google recently announced that it is shuttering the Reader product. Blessed by the Potato wonders why Google is killing off some of its useful products. […]

  4. Says:

    BBTP said: “The thing is, I don’t understand why they’re being killed off.”

    Short answer, $.

    Longer answer, Google throws a ton of money at apps they want to dominate. If the app doesn’t eventually take off and make money, they close it. It’s an integral part of their business model these days, they’re always shutting down apps.

    Moral of the story, don’t depend on anything Google. You’re either in danger of having the product shut down, or you’re giving away your data in exchange for a piece of software.