16 months, iGoogle lovers. It’s all you’ve got before the Big G gets out its machine guns and machetes to murder the portalised Google interface that has become the cornerstone of Google homepages for so many people on Planet Earth.
Who knows, perhaps Google is just trying the old floating “trial balloon” trick to see what gets shot down, but while the other products that Google is set to kill don’t seem to have raised much of a ruckus, the impending death of iGoogle has sent users in a rage that may well encourage Microsoft to create an iBing home page portalised interface ASAP.
Some will say Microsoft already has this with its MSN and NineMSN portals, but Google’s iGoogle was clean, efficient, widget enabled, RSS feed enabled and more – people love this simple system, and now Google, in some weird efficiency drive, is finding the voice Larry Page lost in a war cry against one of Google’s most genuinely popular offerings.
The cold, harsh news came forth in an official Google Blog posting, where Google’s Matt Eichner, the General Manager of “Global Enterprise Search” blathers on about Google needing to “focus”.
Well, Mr Eichner, what about focusing on the fact people are horrified that Google is going to kill iGoogle in cold digital blood? What happened to the company that promised to “do no evil”?
Indeed, Google’s killing spree has extended to a whopping 30+ products, bringing into question Google’s once-famous edict of giving employees stacks of time to work on their own projects – projects which Google then goes off to strangle.
Google’s blog post coldly informs devastated users that November 1, 2013, is the date that iGoogle will, Roy Batty-style, die, having seen things we people wouldn’t believe – attack servers on fire off the shoulder of the Orion data centre, search beams glittering in the dark near the golden Google gate, with all those moments lost in time (unless users export their data)… like tears in the November rain, the 1st of the 10th month in 2013 will be the time for iGoogle to die.
Then there’s the Google Mini search box, a piece of hardware that has been replaced by newer models of Nexus 6… I mean… Google hardware, such as the Google Search Applance.
Google Talk Chatback must have provided too much back chat to Google, so it’s set to die too, replaced by some horrible sounding “Meebo” toolbar. Thanks, Google, as if the world needs another stupid toolbar.
The disappointment that was Google Video – a product so unbelievably disappointing (ok, so I'm overdramatising a little) that Google had to spend US $1.6 billion to buy YouTube, is also still hanging around but will soon have the pillow placed over its ever dulling video eyes, while Google hammers another wooden spike into the heart of what’s left of Nokia’s Symbian by “soon retiring our Symbian Search App”.
Obviously aware that some of these developments would cause an outcry, Google’s Matt Eichner ends by noting that “closing products always involves tough choices”, with Mr Eichner stating Googlers “do think very hard about each decision and its implications for our users”.
However the focus is now on “streamlining services” so Google can “focus on creating beautiful technology that will improve people’s lives” – and perhaps create products that will last an absolute lifetime, or at least seem some actual user input first before digitally dispatching with, rather than being given the knife in a timespan little more than that granted to replicants.