Google Pulls the Plug on Several Offerings
Article by George Norman
On 22 Jul 2011
We kick off this article with the news that Google has pulled the plug on the Google Toolbar for Firefox. The latest Firefox version is 5.0, but the thing is that Google did not bother to update the toolbar so it would work with Firefox 5.0. The dilemma here is, do you stay on the older Firefox 4.X version and use Google Toolbar, or do you get Firefox 5.0 and give up on Google Toolbar?

I say you forget about the toolbar and enjoy the functionality Firefox 5.0 has to offer. I think you will agree with that decision when you find out that Google explained that it decided to drop support for the toolbar because “many features that were once offered by Google Toolbar for Firefox are now already built right into the browser.”

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Moving on, we continue this article with the news that Google has discontinued the Google Directory project, the project that was launched in 2000 to complete with Yahoo! Directory. If you try to access Google Directory, you will be presented with a prompt that says it is no longer available and that “we believe that web search is the fastest way to find the information you need on the web.” This isn’t such bad news, not when you consider that Google Directory has been irrelevant for some years now. The following is bad news though.

Google announced that it will discontinue Google Labs. Gmail Labs, Google Maps Labs and TestTube will not be discontinued, but everything else will. Google explained that it decided to prioritize its product efforts and that discontinuing Google Labs is part of that process.

“While we’ve learned a huge amount by launching very early prototypes in Labs, we believe that greater focus is crucial if we’re to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead,” commented Bill Coughran, SVP for Research and Systems Infrastructure. “In many cases, this will mean ending Labs experiments—in others we’ll incorporate Labs products and technologies into different product areas. And many of the Labs products that are Android apps today will continue to be available on Android Market.”



Tags: Google, Google Labs, Google Toolbar, Google Directory
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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