A few minutes back, Google finally stepped into the cloud storage solutions arena with the launch of Google Drive. Google’s absence in this segment was conspicuous because Google is known to have access to plenty of cheap storage, and it was already providing a massive amount of storage for various services like Gmail, Picasa, and Docs. However, the long delay in launching Drive is even more perplexing because Google isn’t exactly shy about launching new services. Over the past decade, its portfolio has expanded from search and advertising to a bewildering range of services such as Sketchup and Google Goggles. Of course, not everything from Google has been a hit. Some products like Wave were spectacular failures, while others like Lively fizzled away silently. In order to keep its house in order, Google is known to chuck away services that fail to gain traction from time to time. However, ever since taking over the mantle of CEO, Larry Page seems to have made it his mantra to streamline Google. Last week, Google announced the latest batch of services to get the chop.
Some of the services that Google is retiring are stuff that almost no one knew about anyways. The first of them is Google Flu Vaccine Finder. This is a Google Maps mashup that was created in 2009 during the H1N1 pandemic to help in identifying nearest vaccination places across the US. Google is now retiring this service and suggesting HealthMap Flu Vaccine Finder as a better alternative. Also being retired are Google Related (an extension that suggested content related to the website you are currently browsing), One Pass (payment platform for online news publishers), and Google Sync for Blackberry. Google Patent Search is being sunset as Google has already incorporated this feature into the main search engine.
Among the popular products that have been affected include Picasa and Talk. Google will no longer support Picasa for Linux, Picasa Web Albums Uploader for Mac, and Picasa Web Albums Plugin for iPhoto. Google Talk mobile web app is being shuttered as Google recommends using native Android app or any compatible XMPP chatting app.