Google To Ax Desktop, Notebook, Fast Flip, Aardvark And More
Google said in July that it would gradually close its Google Labs, a collection of experimental products and features.
On Friday, Google announced the fates of 10 such products: Desktop, Notebook, Fast Flip, Aardvark, Sidewiki, Google Maps API for Flash, Google Web Security, Google Pack, Image Labeler and Subscribed Links.
"All the Googlers working on these projects will be moved over to higher-impact products. As for our users, we'll communicate directly with them as we make these changes, giving sufficient time to make the transition and enabling them to take their data with them," Google's senior VP, Alan Eustace, wrote on the Official Google Blog.
Some of these products will end almost immediately, giving users little time to pull their data or choose a new service. Google said it will completely ax Desktop, "including all the associated APIs, services, plugins, gadgets and support," on September 14.
Notebook, a browser-based app for creating and storing documents, apparently has a longer lease on life (possibly months, according to Google). Once the service is closed, Google will fold all users' data from Notebooks into Google Docs.
Fast Flip, Google's news aggregator that featured a newspaper-like interface, will be shuttered "in the next few days," as reported by Search Engine Land. Google says that Fast Flip's notable features "will live on in our other display and delivery tools."
Social search service Aardvark, acquired by Google for $50 million in 2010, wrote on its own company blog on Friday that the service will cease before October. "In the spirit of data liberation, we want to make sure that any of you Aardvark users who would like to retrieve your past data from the service can do so," writes the Aardvark blog. As with Fast Flip, some of Aardvark's tools will be used to improve other Google products.
For more details about the rest of the products on the chopping block, visit the Google Blog.
Since Google debuted social network Google+ in June, the company has announced several other consolidations and plans for streamlining services. In late August, for example, All Things D reported that Slide, a social app maker that Google acquired for $200 million in 2010, would be shut down for good. In July, Mashable reported that Google plans to rebrand the Blogger blogging platform and Picasa photo-sharing site.