In an email sent to users of the services affected, Google confirmed that seven products will be axed shortly. Wave, the real-time communication service, will become read-only from January 31, 2012, though Google has reassured users that they can still export waves as PDF files until it’s closed down completely on April 30, 2012. In the email, Google has recommended that users migrate their accounts to an open-source project such as Walkaround or Apache Wave.
Gears, the browser extension for creating offline web applications, will no longer be available for download from December 1, 2011, while Friends Connect, which allows webmasters to add social features to their sites by embedding a few snippets of code, will shut down on March 1, 2012. Google is encouraging all users of Friends Connect to sign up to Google+ and take advantage of the ‘Circle’ feature to keep in touch.
Bookmarks List, Search Timeline, Knol, and Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal will also be discontinued shortly as Google integrates some of these features into existing services and ditches the ones that simply haven’t worked.
“Overall, our aim is to build a simpler, more intuitive, truly beautiful Google user experience. In terms of the details,” wrote Urs Hozle, Senior Vice President, Operations.