As Google shuts down five more of its products and services, the list of recent service closures within the company rises to thirty as the business continues to streamline. The five that are being terminated are iGoogle, Google Video, Google Symbian Search App, Google Mini and Google Talk Chatback.
While three of the services did not constitute such a large chunk of the empire, the two major changes are seen as Google shuts down iGoogle and Google Video. The former will be phased out between now and November 2013 and is concession to the growing power of social media and mobile apps services, now most people’s first port of call for digital information. Users have 16 months to move any data stored within its bowels. The latter, Google Video, stopped taking uploads back in 2009 and will close on August 20 with all the current videos being moved to Google-owned YouTube.
The recent cuts were explained by the CEO, Larry Page, in his 2012 Update to the firm’s investors: “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.” Though in some senses this suggests defeat for Google in its attempts to monopolize the Internet markets, it appears another sensible decision by Page. Many companies in the past have failed for trying to diversify too much, losing track of their original product.
As Google shuts down these assets it ensures the business continues to focus its efforts on the quality products it does produce. As users you will not suffer a significant impact, as these services are readily available elsewhere. It will, however, give significant encouragement to others in the market knowing that Google’s monopoly can be challenged by a quality product, perhaps pointing to a more diverse future Internet market.
As genius as Larry Page may be, he is competing in a youthful, fast moving market with people still in their twenties. As Shakespeare’s Henry VI said, “Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.” Let’s see where he steers Google next…