Mountain View, California -- In an effort to streamline its many offerings and provide you with an even better Google experience, the search engine titan is once again cleaning its house and reorganizing a few of its products. The company announced over the weekend that it is shutting down a few more services: that includes Google Apps For Teams, Google Listen and Google Video for Business.
Moving ahead with time and innovation, Google's well-publicized efforts to consolidate and streamline its online services continues as the search company announced several new service cuts, including the end of Google Apps for Teams and the transitioning of Google Listen over to Google Play.
The search giant made the announcement through the official Google blog, in a post by Director of Engineering Max Ibel: “Technology has the power to transform peoples' lives,” Ibel wrote. “But to make a difference, we need to carefully consider what to focus on, and make hard decisions about what we would not pursue. This enables us to devote more time and resources giving you products you love, and making them better for you.”
However, since the axing efforts began in earnest in June 2011 when CEO Larry Page announced a “house-cleaning” program to consolidate many of the company's duplicated and underused online services, Google has changed to about 50 products, features and services, according to Ibel, “so we can focus on the high-impact products that millions of people use, multiple times a day.”
In its latest round of service consolidation, let us see what products are now facing the ax?
First on the anvil is Google Apps for Teams. Originally introduced in 2008, Google Apps for Teams was designed to empower people with a verified business or school email address the ability to collaborate using non-email applications such as Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Talk. However, now the company says that “Over time, we realized that Google Apps for Teams was not as useful for people as we originally anticipated,” Ibel said, and so it will be closing its doors this year.
Hence, beginning on September 4, 2012, the company will initiate converting existing Google Apps for Teams accounts into personal Google accounts. Finally, the service will officially be shut down on October 15, 2012. Google has provided additional information for users who are affected by the shut down on its support page.
Barely a month back, Google announced that it was shutting down Google Video, and now comes Google Video for Business: The video hosting and sharing service was provided for Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education users. It was formulated in order for organizations to “use video for internal communication”, but starting this fall, any media which is hosted on Google Video for Business will be migrated over to Google Drive -- rather than the public platform YouTube.
However, the company assures that all migrated videos will be stored for free and will not count against a user's Google Drive storage quota.
Finally, its now time for Google Listen: “We launched Google Listen through Google Labs in August 2009, the product was primarily intended to give people a way to discover and listen to new podcasts,” says Ibel. However, with Google Play comes into scene, people now have access to a wider variety of podcast apps, so we have discontinued Listen. People who have already installed the app can still use it, but after November 1, podcast search will cease to function.
So, if you have any subscriptions through Google Listen, they can be downloaded through Google Reader.
Eventually, these service cuts come just a month after Google axed several other offerings, including the Google Mini enterprise search appliance line, the iGoogle personalized home page, Google Talk Chatback and Google Video. Apart from retiring some services he said Google will close a number of official blogs and other communication channels. Updates will now take place on the most popular of the more than 150 blogs the company currently maintains, as a number of them are quietly closed down.