Google Quietly Axes Buzz, Jaiku, Code Search, Labs and More
Late last week, as the world was getting ready for its Fall weekend, Google quietly announced it was shutting down Google Code Search, Jaiku, the University Research Program for Google Search, Google Labs, iGoogle’s social features and, most notably, the highly controversial, little-used social network Google Buzz.
According to the official Google blog entry, titled “A fall sweep,” it’s all a part of an ongoing refocusing effort on the search giant’s part:
“We aspire to build great products that really change people’s lives, products they use two or three times a day. To succeed you need real focus and thought—thought about what you work on and, just as important, what you don’t work on. It’s why we recently decided to shut down some products, and turn others into features of existing products.”
To be more specific, the key features of Google Buzz, the Twitter-like social network that was beleaguered with privacy issues right from the word “go,” and Jaiku, which was fairly similar in concept if not execution, will be integrated into the Google+ social network — Google’s real golden child right now. Similarly, the social features of iGoogle are redundant (at least on paper) with Google+’s sharing tools.
As for Google Labs, that’s just a sign of Google attempting to mature its platform. After all, the word “Labs” doesn’t inspire confidence when you’re trying to sell Google Apps to enterprises of all sizes. The other shutdowns just sound like seldom-used, expensive-to-maintain products that Google may be better off financially and organizationally without (though the elimination of Google Code Search, which indexed open source code for public access, could be seen as a sinister omen).
So what’s the impact for Google Apps Authorized Resellers? If I were a Magic 8 Ball, I’d say “Outlook hazy, ask again later.” Google is still being cagey about the timeline for Google+ being released to resellers and enterprises. Maybe the feature set from Google Buzz and Jaiku is the magic bullet that will bring it up to business-readiness. Stay tuned for more updates on Google’s strategy.