Services & Software

Spring cleaning at Google means dumping these projects

Google makes good on pledge to trim back on nonessentials, slashing several programs and services.

When Larry Page stepped up to the CEO gig at Google last year, one of his pledges was to trim some of the fat at the company.

Continuing along that path and in the spirit of "spring cleaning," Google has announced a laundry list of products and services it is cutting soon.

A full list with details is available on the official Google blog, but here's a snapshot of some of the changes that might affect you the most:

  • No more support for Google Sync for BlackBerry, starting June 1.
  • The mobile Web app for Google Talk is being shut down.
  • Starting today, the Picasa Web Albums Uploader for Mac and Picasa Web Albums Plugin for iPhoto will no longer be available to download.
  • No more updates for Picasa for Linux.
  • The Google Flu Vaccine Finder has been retired. Anyone interested in this is being redirected to the HealthMap Flu Vaccine Finder.

Yes, some of these items might be things you'll miss. But Matthias Schwab, director of Cloud Services at Google, explained in a blog post that "making changes to products or services is hard, but we do need to maintain our focus if we are to do important things that matter in the world."

A goal here, Schwab continued, is to improve the overall user experience for Google users. Thus, less really could be more in this case if Google can dedicate more resources to bigger projects, like Google+ and Google Play (and maybe even Google Drive), and make them better over the course of the next year.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines under the headline "Google enters spring cleaning mode by dropping several services."