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Google Kills More Services, Open Sources Sky Map 121

alphadogg writes "Google is continuing to weed out its services and on Friday announced it will shut down Picnik, Google Message Continuity and Needlebase and make changes to some other services. Google acquired Seattle-based Picnik in 2010, saying it would integrate the photo editing service with its own Picasa. 'We're retiring the service on April 19, 2012, so the Picnik team can continue creating photo-editing magic across Google products,' Dave Girouard, vice president of product management for Google, wrote in a blog post Friday." A positive change to come out of this is that Google is open-sourcing Sky Map, and will be collaborating with Carnegie Mellon University to continue development.
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Google Kills More Services, Open Sources Sky Map

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  • by FreeCoder ( 2558096 ) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @01:57PM (#38775138)
    Usually there really isn't any good warning ahead in time. For example Microsoft gives exact end of support dates for almost all of their products and it's usually years. With Google it's just a few months. Not all of Google's services are free either, and since they most often don't release the source code, you are basically locked to their services.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @02:02PM (#38775176) Homepage

    UrchinTracker let advertisers track what users were doing, but didn't let Google track them. So it had to go. Big Brother doesn't like competition.

  • Re:That's progress (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eulernet ( 1132389 ) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @02:28PM (#38775360)

    No, you are wrong, here is an example: []
    No more service, and no replacement (don't believe what they say, this service was indexing all source code on the Internet, not Google's only).

    Google is killing every service that doesn't return quick money. This means that Google just stopped all innovation (except a few star projects, like Google car, but what does an advertisement's company do in the automobile's domain anyway ? It's so ... out of place).

    Why would you want to take risks when you can make money with existing products ?
    Why would you put money in Research when you can concentrate on Development ?
    Oh, that's right: let's buy any startup that has an interesting idea, and kill the idea if it doesn't make money.

    Google is ranked as the 2nd most innovative company in 2010: []
    Let's see how it will do in the next rankings.

    The problem with Google is now greed.

  • Re:That's progress (Score:5, Interesting)

    by madmark1 ( 1946846 ) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @02:49PM (#38775494)

    Can you explain to me how this is different than, say, every other company in the world? Apple's latest innovation? Siri? Bought from someone else, then magically it doesn't work on anything but their newest phone, despite the fact it was available as an app for the older phones? Microsoft? Even their browser was bought from someone else, not to mention FrontPage (I didn't say it was good...), Excel, the Explore pane in Bing... Adobe has DreamWeaver, Flash, Fireworks...

    The problem with Google now is greed. Sadly though, that's the problem with every other company on the planet. Microsoft announces that from now on, web programming should be done in HTML5 and Javascript, and screw all of you that learned ASP.NET. Adobe gives you mobile flash, Adobe taketh away.

    Google continues to push forward with new services (G+, Car) and continue to add to older services (New google search changes, gmail interface changes) even if those turn out not to be popular. The search thing seems to be earning them some grief in particular, yet they tried something new. They could easily have left gmail and search exactly as it was, or not started G+, or Reader, or Wave. They DID change things, and start new things though, so that kind of kills your argument that they aren't putting money into anything, or doing R&D.

  • by afabbro ( 33948 ) on Saturday January 21, 2012 @03:58PM (#38775851) Homepage

    Google SketchUp is a hugely useful, free 3D modeling program. It has become the de facto standard in lots of hobbies (such as woodworking) because it's free, works well, and now there's a bajillion community add-ons.

    The problem is that it's Windows/Mac desktop software. It's completely orthogonal to Google's strategy. There's no ad revenue, and while there is a paid-for commercial version, I can't imagine it's big bucks for Google. The commercial version is $500, and at that price there's plenty of competition from other commercial packages.

    I'm sure someone in the headier days of Google saw it and thought "wow, this is cool, let's buy it!" and so they did. But what really is the strategy/purpose of owning it? It's great software, no doubt, but I think Google would be hard-pressed to explain how it moves their company forward.

    And so I fear for Google SketchUp. The free version is so awesome and I use it extensively...and I suspect some day someone in Google is going to discard it as carelessly as they bought it.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford