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Google spring cleans services

Company is shutting down some services on its inventory, removing obsolete products

Google spring cleans services
Google is shutting down several of its services that have become obsolete, such as Google Desktop and Fast Flip.

Google will be shutting down several of its products and merging others together as it spring-cleans its inventory, according to a Google Blog post by Alan Eustace, Google's senior vice president.

Eustace said that the move would make things simpler for Google users, improve the Google experience and allow the company to focus on several high-impact products.

The first service to get the chop is Aardvark, a social search tool that allows users to answer each others' questions.

Google Desktop functions, including associated APIs, services, plugins, gadgets and support will also cease to function on 14th September, Google said that Desktop has become obsolete with the development of the cloud, which allows users' to get instant access to their data, whether online or offline.

Fast Flip is another service facing the axe; Fast Flip was started by Google to help develop news content browsing and reading experiences for the web and mobile devices.

"For the past two years, in collaboration with publishers, the Fast Flip experiment has fueled a new approach to faster, richer content display on the web. This approach will live on in our other display and delivery tools," said Eustace in his Google Blog post.

Google Maps API for Flash will also be terminated, although Google will keep supporting existing Google Maps API Premier customers using Google Maps API for Flash. Google says it will focus on the JavaScript Maps API v3 going forward.

Google Pack has now been discontinued due to the rapidly decreasing demand for downloadable software in favor of web apps. Users' can access Google's and our partners' software through direct links on the Google Pack website.

Sales of Google Web Security will also be stopped as the company says it has integrated much of the web security functionality directly into existing Google products, such as safe browsing in Chrome. The company will however continue to support existing customers.

The game Image Labeler will  be discontinued, as will Google Notebook app, which was designed to enable people to combine clipped URLs from the web and free-form notes into documents they could share and publish. This app will be closed in the next few months, but all existing data on the app will be automatically exported to Google Docs.

The demise of Google's Sidewiki in the weeks ahead will allow Google to focus on its broader social initiatives, according to the company.

"Sidewiki authors will be given more details about this closure in the weeks ahead, and they'll have a number of months to download their content," said Eustace.

Subscribed Links, which allowed developers to create specialised search results that were added to the normal Google search results on relevant queries for subscribed users, will also be shut down.

Developers will be able to access and download their data until 15th September.

"We've never been afraid to try big, bold things, and that won't change. 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," said Eustace.

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