by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) July 4, 2012
Google said Tuesday it was discontinuing its iGoogle page designed as Web "portal," saying it had become less relevant in the age of the mobile Internet.
The portal, which allowed users to personalize their start page, will be cut in November 2013 and was among a handful of products axed by the California tech giant.
"Technology creates tremendous opportunities to improve people's lives. But to make the most of them, we need to focus -- or we end up doing too much and not having the impact we strive for," Google's Matt Eichner said in a blog post.
"So last fall we started a spring clean, and since then we've closed or combined more than 30 products. Today we're announcing a few more closures."
Among other products being eliminated was the Google Mini search service for businesses, Google Talk Chatback and Google Video.
Eichner said users will be given time to go without iGoogle.
"We originally launched iGoogle in 2005 before anyone could fully imagine the ways that today's Web and mobile apps would put personalized, real-time information at your fingertips," he said.
"With modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for iGoogle has eroded over time, so we'll be winding it down.
"Users will have 16 months to adjust or export their data."
He said Google Talk Chatback had become "outdated" and functions were now served by its Meebo toolbar.
Google Video stopped taking uploads in May 2009 and by Aug 20, the remaining content will be transferred to YouTube, which Google acquired in 2006.
The Symbian search app, which duplicated Google's own search, will also be discontinued.
"Closing products always involves tough choices, but we do think very hard about each decision and its implications for our users," Eichner said.
"Streamlining our services enables us to focus on creating beautiful technology that will improve people's lives."
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Microsoft to take $6.2 bn writeoff for online unit
New York (AFP) July 2, 2012
Microsoft said Monday it would take a $6.2 billion writedown to reflect the slump in value of its online services division. The charge reflects a writedown related to the 2007 acquisition of aQuantive, a digital advertising firm aimed at helping Microsoft compete against Google and others. The charge, to be reflected in the company's upcoming earnings report, is required under accounting ... read more
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