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Google To Shutter Knol, Wave, Gears 218

An anonymous reader writes "Google announced today on its official blog the impending closure of a number of its less successful services. In addition to retiring minor features like Bookmarks List and Friend Connect, Google has outlined a plan to close down Wave. The experimental communication medium will go read-only on January 31, and on April 30 they will shut it down completely. Also on April 30, Google will be changing Knol so that individual knols are not viewable, though users will still be able to download and export them until October 1, at which point they'll disappear entirely. Google Gears is also getting the axe, as is Search Timeline and the Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal initiative."
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Google To Shutter Knol, Wave, Gears

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  • by imamac ( 1083405 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:22PM (#38143672)
    They cancel them because no one really uses them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:28PM (#38143730)

    ...oddly enough, Google absolutely FAIL at marketing.
    I'm not even kidding.

    How the hell they became the biggest damn advertiser on the web I will never know, they are hopeless at doing anything right.
    You want to know who they remind me of? Remember Malcolm In The Middle? Google is Malcolm!
    Awkward, obtuse, but somehow stupidly intelligent. Stupidly intelligent is probably the best way to describe Google.

    Seriously, why cancel Gears? Gears was USEFUL. It never needed that much attention as it was, and it was supposed to fill in for things that weren't quite ready in the HTML5 spec.
    They say they ditched it because "it is no longer needed" or some nonsense. Funny, I can't remember when the ability to be able to drag and drop files in to web apps was added, last I checked, the File API is still in planning even now.
    Gotta love that brilliant Offline Gmail we don't have anymore. Whats that, you released an extension for it? BRILLIANT IDEA, SOMETHING ELSE THAT ISN'T STANDARD AND WILL LIKELY HAVE TO BE KEPT UP TO DATE TOO, JUST LIKE GEARS.
    Absolute lunacy.

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:34PM (#38143794)

    I cannot take them seriously anymore. Anyone to use them for business would be insane.

    Because all companies should support all products forever, even if no one uses them? What company does that?

    I mean, look at Itanium, at this point the only way to keep Itanium alive would be to *pay* Intel to keep making them. Oh wait.... []

  • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:40PM (#38143846)
    This is Google's big problem right now - throw a bunch of things at the wall and see what sticks. The problem is people are now hesitant to invest in new Google projects because, hey, they'll be shut down in a year... If they can't commit to a new project, why should their customers?...
  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:44PM (#38143868) Journal

    They cancel them because no one really uses them.

    For sufficiently imprecise definition of "no one". What you means is no one you personally care about.

    Welcome to the cloud, where abandonware is truly dead and nostalgia is a thing of the past. This is what happens when you hand the keys to the kingdom to a service provider with their own motivations and that do not care about you.

    And thanks for re-affirming the lesson Google. I now try to use Google for nothing except search and perhaps Google Earth on rare occassions. They've even managed to turn me off Picasa with glaring bugs like losing face data you spend hours entering.

  • by MurukeshM ( 1901690 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:45PM (#38143878)
    Google Wave - collaboration. Stopped early on. Now Google Docs allows real-time simultaneous editing by multiple users. If that isn't collaboration, I dunno what is. It might have nifty features that Doc doesn't have, but starting ten sections in the same company to do the same job is what I'd consider stupid (and standard practice).
    Google Gears - Holy crap! That thing is still alive?
    Google Search Timeline - I'm confused. What does Trends show us then?
    Re<C - They admit they're not the best suited for the job. So they publish their results and continue using renewable energy.
    Google Friend Connect - Dunno what that is, but seems kinda outa place now that Google+ (showing no signs of premature death) is here.
    Knol - This one is a bit sad. But then they worked with others to start Annotum [].
    Bookmark Lists - Meh.. With sharing links on fb and Google+ whenever we spot something interesting, who'll bother with this?
  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:47PM (#38143890) Journal

    "I will not use other successfully products by company X because they cancel support for products that I don't use and others don't either." Intelligent.

    Let me fix that for you. "I refuse to become reliant for basic service on a vendor that clearly has their own agenda and will happily cancel those services without regard to what I want or need".

    You can make anything sound unintelligent with careful paraphrasing to reductio ad absurdum, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it actually is unintelligent.

  • by CmdrPony ( 2505686 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:49PM (#38143906)
    Well, we if we compare to Microsoft, at least MS has specific end of support dates that you know. Google will just come out of the shadows and announce that support will be ended in one month. And not just support - the whole product will be gone. With desktop products they still at least work. With Google, software-as-service, and cloud they're just gone. No sane business would build their future on such ground.
  • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:02PM (#38144006)

    Wave was a cool idea that desperately needed a desktop client and more partners. It needed an Open Rich Mail Alliance a-la Android to sell servers, integrate with for-pay and for-free services, and actually use the protocol for real work.

    As long as you had to go to the Google website to read a Wave it suffered from the perception that it was a Google service and was only useful in that way.

    (On the other hand you could go totally conspiracy-minded and say that Wave was intended to fail, and Google was attempting to use it as a pilot plant for various Google+ features, at a time when the Diaspora was all the rage and people were casting about for open source alternatives to Facebook.)

  • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:08PM (#38144046) Homepage
    What you hear in this announcement is the sound of a "cloud" evaporating.
  • by magarity ( 164372 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:17PM (#38144094)

    Wave was amazing.
    And no one uses them because in early beta they are closed down.

    I tried Wave and it didn't make any damn sense so I didn't use it any more.

  • by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:20PM (#38144128)

    That, in a nutshell, is why I have no particular interest in web applications I do not myself host. Aside from the vast privacy implications, you are totally at the mercy of the provider. A standalone, self-sufficient client with the option of web storage and/or sharing, fine. All of my work on a box run by someone who doesn't even have any contractual or regulatory obligations? No thanks.

    I will credit Google with letting people retrieve their data, but its usefulness is greatly reduced without the applications it was designed for.

    They call it the cloud because people have gotten wise to being offered low prices on the Brooklyn Bridge.

  • by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @12:47AM (#38144986) Homepage Journal

    The problem with redefining yourself is, if you can do it once, then you can do it again. Not an argument that inspires confidence in the kind of customers who are worried about fickleness.

    OTOH, if Wave is the example, you can trust Google to make sure that you can get your data out of it, and to make the code available so you can host it yourself or find another place to host it for you if you need to.

  • A cloud company... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AdmV0rl0n ( 98366 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @05:49AM (#38146550) Homepage Journal

    That keeps launching and killing things. And mismanaging things.

    Wave was a brilliant collaboration tool that was under developed and killed too early.

    Why would I put anything inside someone's cloud when every month they announce new closures, and terminations. There was a time where Google released stuff, and people were allowed to use that 'stuff' and the google machine paid for it, and you knew where you stood. The company is now operating in an opposite direction. You now don't know if they launch something, wether you can invest time in it. You don't know if it will stay up or be yanked.

    And - if you took time and for example liked Wave - they renaged on their promises, and not only announced its end - buit have not done what they said they would do. They have not made good on their public statements.

    Anyone who deals with cloud based companies that:-
    1. Breach trusts and don't commit fullt to what they state they will do
    2. End services and support just because it suits them, irrespective of what it may cost you.

    Is a cloud company to be wary of. This is not the behaviour of early google, and its showing.

  • by bjourne ( 1034822 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @08:28AM (#38147152) Homepage Journal
    Please mod parent down - it is a copy paste troll. While the story is mildly funny, it has already been posted about a million times to any store remotely related to cloud computing.
  • by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @09:09AM (#38147362) Homepage

    Email will probably be dead in the common eyes by 2016 or so.

    While I'd like that to happen, I seriously doubt it. For this to happen, we would need a viable and better alternative. AFAIK there are none in sight. At all.

    I would need to be better, and it would need to be as universal. Apart from phone - which predates email - I don't know of any way to contact virtually anyone on the planet for free. And I don't know of any alternative to the email that would be 4 years away from there.

    It *could* happen. I'd like it to happen, although my liking would depend on which solution comes in replacement to the email. But I believe it's not going to happen, at least not that fast.

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