Google's ongoing axing of dead weight from its product portfolio has claimed a host of new victims, chiefly a cloud-based backup offering for Microsoft Exchange.
Since last year, Google has taken the hatchet to a host of products in its portfolio, killing marquee offerings like Google Buzz, Google Gears and Google Wave in a bid to "put more wood behind fewer arrows," said Google CEO Larry Page.
"As we head into 2012, we’ve been sticking to some old resolutions -- the need to focus on building amazing products that millions of people love to use every day," Dave Girouard, Google vice president of product management, wrote in a blog post announcing the new product cuts. "That means taking a hard look at products that replicate other features, haven’t achieved the promise we had hoped for or can’t be properly integrated into the overall Google experience."
Google has unveiled new plans for a handful of products which the company said will be "merged, open-sourced or phased out in the coming months." Among them is Google Message Continuity (GMC), an offering launched in 2010 as an e-mail disaster recovery product for users of Google's cloud, which backs up e-mails originally sent or received in an on-premise Microsoft Exchange system. Google is cutting GMC to focus on the disaster recovery capabilities in Google Apps.
"In the time since we launched, we've seen hundreds of businesses sign up for it. By comparison, in that same time, we've seen millions of businesses move entirely to the cloud with Google Apps, benefitting from disaster recovery capabilities built directly into Apps," Girouard wrote. "Going forward we've decided to focus our efforts on Google Apps and end support for GMC. Current GMC customers will be able to use GMC for the duration of their contract and are encouraged to consider using Google Apps as their primary messaging and collaboration platform."
Google plans to open source Google Sky Map, a tool that Google called "a window to the sky for Android users."
Google said it will retire Needlebase, a data management platform that Google acquired from ITA Software, on June 1 and is looking to integrate it with other data-related Google offerings. Google will also kill Picnik, an online photo editor Google acquired in 2010 and will retire on April 19. And due to slow adoption will depreciate Social Graph API, an API that makes information about public connections between people on the Web for developers, and fully retire it on April 20.
Lastly, Google will eighty-six Urchin, an online web analytics play that Google acquired in 2005 and made the foundation for Google Analytics. Google said it will continue to build an online analytics product, but is tossing the client-hosted version of Urchin, known as Urchin Software, and new Urchin Software licenses will no longer be available after March 2012.
"Resolutions can be hard, and changing products that people love is hard too," Girouard wrote. "But we're excited to focus on creating a beautifully simple, intuitive user experience across Google -- an experience that will change the lives of millions of people."