Tobold's Blog
Thursday, July 05, 2012
 
Getting fed up with Google shutting down applications

My homepage on every browser I use is set to iGoogle. Thus whenever I open a browser, I get a quick overview of news, weather, time & date, my GMail inbox, and the stock quotes relevant to me. Now Google is telling me that they will stop that service in November of next year. I think that is the most recent in a string of similar bad decisions.

Google, while having a near-monopoly in search engines, is obviously struggling to compete with Facebook in the field of social spaces, and with Apple in mobile platforms and services. In my opinion that leads to Google trying too hard to come up with the next big thing; in the process they are coming up with lots of different applications, only to abandon them after a few years. Google Buzz is already dead, Google Wave was stillborn, and now they are closing iGoogle.

I think that strategy is flawed, because it only leads to me worrying about all the other Google applications I'm using. What if Google shuts down Blogger, or GMail, or Google+? And if people think that Google is unable or unwilling to make platforms and applications that stick, they will prefer the competitors' products. If you have to choose between Google+ and Facebook, you might easily choose the social networking service that is more likely to still be there tomorrow, and that isn't the Google one.

Comments:
I'm disappointed by the loss of iGoogle as well. Even more so when they ditched Goog-411. I used to love Google, but I don't trust them like I used to. I understand the need for focus, but it's still disappointing.
 
I think it is one of these boneheaded decisions that they will quickly back out of.

For some reason big companies become disconnected from the reality and try nonsensical moves like this. They want to shake up things.

What benefit could they possibly have from removing a customizable home page - almost none (or it is all illusion).

last year Netflix wanted to split off into two companies Quickster and Netflix, one doing only DVD rentals the other only streaming business and supposedly would not have even shared the same web interface - how stupid was that - they backed out of that quickly - but wow just how the heck did they even come up with that.
 
iGoogle's been my homepage for a couple of years now and, frankly, it sucks that they are taking it away. Maybe they are planning something to replace it?
 
I feel your pain but I can recommend Net vibes as a possible alternative. It is not exactly the same but it is more powerful in some ways (you can have multiple tabs for example). I switched over a couple of years back and prefer it to IGoogle.
 
I wouldn't worry about them shutting down any of their big name and successful services like Blogger or Gmail.
 
Yea, it sucks. I think Google wants to force us all into making Google+ their "landing page". Either that, or they want to push more adverts to us, and guess what? iGoogle got no adds!
 
Well that is kind of a chicken/egg thing.

The reason they are killing it is nobody uses it, so q.e.d. they aren't going to get a reputation as being fickle with enough people to matter.

I run my whole business through google's various services and I never even heard about the service they are killing. Acting as if they would kill blogger or gmail (very successful services) because they don't support weak and unpopular services for infinity is unfair and also some kind of logical fallacy.
 
This is the first I am hearing about it and I am horribly disappointed. I love iGoogle and have used it as my homepage for a long, long time.
 
er...

Last time I checked if you were not an advertiser or cell phone manufacturer Google's products were provided FREE.

Side Note: Does ANYONE ever read their Terms Of Service (TOS)???

You know the one that states that the provider of "free" service is held non-liable and harmless due to anything BAD happening???

Geez you get something for free. Company providing the free something gets scorned if the free thing is taken away.

FREE means FREE folks. When the "free lunch kitchen" closes everyone should say "phew a great FREE ride while it lasted but too bad it's over".

I guess it's time to find some other sucker (er high growth start up) to provide my free email for me!!!

Serously, in any endeavour how can you expect any service provider to take a customer seriously if they don't make you PAY FOR IT???


Switch to Facebook??? Really??? Good luck with that. Facebook is the new GeoCities and we all know how that worked out.
 
So you think Google isn't making money from us by providing purportedly "free" products to us? Well, in that case there is a bridge I'd like to sell you.
 
I think it might be a move to push users toward the use of Chrome.

I use iGoogle myself, and really really like it.
When I checked on their info page about the iGoogle shutting down, it suggested I might make use of Chrome instead as it supposedly offers similar functionalities...

That's false.
What it offers is a "home" page (any new tab you open) with access to a few Google services and oppurtunities to add more apps from their store.
None of the services or apps are visible at a glance, instead redirecting you to a new tab in the browser.

I currently use Firefox as my browser of choice, and one thing is sure: I won't be swithing to Chrome any time soon, especially since, as you said, Goggle seems prone to ditch its own products quite often and easily.
 
I was :-\ when i saw that. Guess I might have to switch to chrome full time. Really the only thing I have against chrome is I'm resistant to change :D
 
Hi,

I use Netvibes instead and it works pretty well... Not as easy to sync with external services though.

Fabrice
 
MS shuts down stuff that fails too. I think if you have a big enough brand and organisation you may be less inclined to keep the small things that may impact your brand and suck up resources. For smaller companies any publicity is good publicity and they don't have the resources to waste anyway.

Personally I just have Google as my homepage and I click on News when I log on and leave the page open. I stopped staying signed in to Google a couple of months ago when they made some privacy change I didn't like - can't remember what it was now but I decided I would sign in only when I needed to, e.g. for this post.
 
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