Googles Axes Half a Dozen Services, Ties Google+ into New Gmail Accounts

Paul Lilly

In some ways Google isn't unlike the average American. Google's younger days are behind it, the sultan of search loves to be social, and it's put on a few pounds over the years. And like Joe and Sally who joined a gym in January as part of a New Year's resolution to shed some weight, Google goes into the new year looking to slim down by getting rid of love handles like Urchin and Social Graph API.

Also being merged, open-sourced, or phased out in the coming months are:

  • Google Message Continuity (GMC) : being phased out as Google focus its efforts on Google Apps
  • Google Sky Map : getting open-sourced as Google collaborates with Carnegie Mellon University in a partnership that will see further development of Sky Map as a series of student projects
  • Needlebase : will be retired and evaluated for integration into Google's other data-related initiatives
  • Picnik : will be retired on April 19, 2012 so the Picnik team can continue creating photo-editing schemes across Google products

Resolutions can be hard, and changing products that people love is hard too. 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," Google's VP of Product Management, Dave Girouard, said in a blog post .

One service Google has no intention of abandoning is Google+, the company's social playground that's now home to over 90 million users. Just the opposite, anyone who signs up for a Google account (required if opening a Gmail account) will automatically join Google+.

Image Credit: Google

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