Google's swinging its big old scythe and killing off 10 lesser-used products, to free up cash for more important things, like Google Plus.
Andrew LanxonEditor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
In an effort to focus more on its social network Google Plus -- as well as probably just wanting a bit of a clear out -- the big G is closing 10 of its products and sharing the spare resources among more lucrative areas.
Senior vice president Alan Eustace wrote on Google's official blog, "This will make things much simpler for our users, improving the overall Google experience. It will also mean we can devote more resources to high-impact products -- the ones that improve the lives of billions of people."
The list of products to close includes Aardvark, Desktop, Fast Flip,
Google Maps API for Flash, Google Pack, Google Web Security, Image
Labeler, Notebook, Sidewiki and Subscribed Links.
By "high-impact products", Eustace clearly means Google Plus. The new social-networking site is a high priority for Google, which saw a mind-blowing number of users signing up to the service even before it was publicly available. We're not sure it's really improving the lives of billions of people, but it's early days yet, and perhaps the G-machine has got something big up its massive sleeves.
This news comes not long after Google announced it would be shutting down its Labs service -- the area where people could try beta versions of new products and gave birth to many popular Google features such as Gmail, Google Earth and Street View.
"We've never been afraid to try big, bold things, and that won't change," said Eustace. "We'll continue to take risks on interesting new technologies with a lot of potential. But by targeting our resources more effectively, we can focus on building world-changing products with a truly beautiful user experience."
Thankfully, the move won't mean mass layoffs at Google's various headquarters -- instead, the staff and spare cash will be distributed around other areas to make them bigger and better.
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