NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Fans of Google Wave probably won’t want to read this, but it is finally going away for good.
More than a year after halting all new developments of the real-time collaboration tool, Google (Stock Quote: GOOG) announced this week that Wave will become read-only in January and ultimately “turned off” in April 2012. But Google Wave isn’t the only feature getting the axe.
Google announced plans to phase out Knol (its version of Wikipedia) in April, to kill off its Gears browser extension (for offline Internet use) next month and to retire its Friend Connect social features in March. Three other features including the Google Bookmark Lists, Search Timeline and a renewable energy initiative will be shuttered as well.
The goal of this “spring cleaning,” as Google referred to it in a blog post, is to refocus the company’s resources on other key areas.
“We’re in the process of shutting a number of products which haven’t had the impact we’d hoped for, integrating others as features into our broader product efforts, and ending several which have shown us a different path forward,” Urs Holzle, senior vice president of operations at Google, wrote on the blog. “Overall, our aim is to build a simpler, more intuitive, truly beautiful Google user experience.”
In total, Google has announced plans to shut down or fold over more than 20 features just in the past two months. These include multiple social products acquired by the company like Jaiku and Aardvark as well as once-promising in-house features like Fast Flip for a better news-reading experience.