Google's Graveyard Grows: Google Gears, Wave Jettisoned


Google's dead products graveyard is filling up fast, as the search giant continues to cut dead weight from its portfolio, this time axing widely known products like Google Gears and Google Wave.

Google's spring clean started in earnest in September, when CEO Larry Page unveiled the tech titan's plan to "put more wood behind fewer arrows" and focus its product strategy; and if some products get killed on that quest, so be it. Google has already put a host of notable products out of their misery, including Google Desktop and Google Buzz and Google Labs.

This week's Google product cuts, which deep-six seven different Google offerings, mark the third wave in what Google is now calling its "off-season spring cleaning series."

"To recap, we're in the process of shutting a number of products which haven't had the impact we'd hoped for, integrating others as features into our broader product efforts, and ending several which have shown us a different path forward. Overall, our aim is to build a simpler, more intuitive, truly beautiful Google user experience," wrote Google Fellow and Senior Vice President of Operations Urs Holzle in a Google Blog post.

Most notable in this round, Google took the hatchet to Google Gears and Google Wave. The Google Gears browser extension for creating offline Web applications, which Google launched in 2007, was already tossed in March, but Google said this week that come December 1 it will say so long to Gears-based Gmail and Calendar offline, which will stop working across all browsers on that day. And later in December, Gears will no longer be available for download.

"This is part of our effort to help incorporate offline capabilities into HTML5 …," Holzle wrote, adding that Gmail, Calendar and Docs can now be accessed offline in Chrome.

Meanwhile, Google said will bid Google Wave a fond farewell. Google launched Wave in 2009 as a real-time Web-based communication and collaboration platform. In August 2010, Google said it would stop development of Google Wave. And now, Google will make Wave read-only and users won't be able to create new Waves come Jan. 31, 2012. Then, on April 30, 2012, Google will completely shut down Wave. Google said users can continue to export individual waves using Wave's existing PDF export feature until the service is turned off, there are also open source projects like Apache Wave and Walkaround available for users that want to continue using the technology.

NEXT: More Google Products On The Chopping Block


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