This ritual has become familiar. Google is constantly evaluating its array of products, and it seems every few months it announces a few more are being axed.
In a new blog post titled "Spring cleaning in summer," Google has revealed that Google Mini, Google Talk Chatback, Google Video and iGoogle are all slated to be discontinued.
- Google Mini was an enterprise search service which Google says offered redundant services that are found in other Google products. It'll be discontinued at the end of July.
- Google Talk Chatback let users embed a Google Talk widget on their websites, but it's being shuttered as Google encourages more use of the Meebo Bar, which the company bought earlier this summer.
- Google Video will be gone in August, and this one's hardly a surprise, given Google's ownership of YouTube. In fact, the only surprise is how long it took for Google Video to be shut down, says TechCrunch, which notes Google stopped allowing videos to be uploaded in 2009.
- iGoogle, a personalized homepage which launched in 2005, is being retired next year. Google notes that the product was conceptualized "before anyone could fully imagine the ways that today's web and mobile apps would put personalized, real-time information at your fingertips."
The announcement comes less than three months after its last "spring cleaning," which led to Google Sync for BlackBerry, Google Related, the mobile web app for Google Talk and Google Flu Vaccine Finder being killed.
Google began shuttering a number of products last summer after the launch of Google+. A year ago, the company said it would "wind down" Google Labs. Last September, Google Desktop, Notebook, Fast Flip, Aardvark and Google Maps API for Flash were among the products that the company announced would be closed. Google Buzz was axed in October, and Google said it intended to kill Google Wave in November.
Google CEO Larry Page outlined his strategy to focus on "core products" in his 2012 Update to investors:
Last April, I began by reorganizing the management team around our core products to improve responsibility and accountability across Google. I also kicked off a big clean-up. Google has so many opportunities that, unless we make some hard choices, we end up spreading ourselves too thin and don’t have the impact we want. So we have closed or combined over 30 products, including projects like Knol and Sidewiki.
Digg co-founder Kevin Rose, who now works with Google Ventures, has been among those applauding the strategy, posting to Google+ after a wave of closures last fall: "Bravo! Keeping it simple and focusing on core products, love to see companies doing this."
Will you miss any of the above products? Let us know in the comments.