Google is shutting down various unpopular projects it has been working on and is also sacking about 100 employees, in what it seems to be a bad week at the search giant's offices around the world.
So what is actually happening? Well, the bad economic times are catching up with the search giant, so Google is downsizing by closing some unpopular or unproductive projects and is shifting to fewer engineering site.
Google announced that it will end development and close down in the coming months Jaiku, Dodgeball, Catalog Search, Google Notebook and uploads for Google Video. At the same time, the company will be hiring at a reduced rate, though laying off 100 recruiters and reshuffling another 70 engineering staff worldwide to other locations.
Jaiku, the less popular Twitter clone, will become a part of Google Apps while Dodgeball, the mobile social networking will be discontinued. None of these two services were wildly popular, but at least Google Apps users will soon have Jaiku as a built-in microblogging platform to enjoy. On a larger scale, this means that Twitter will only have one competitor left - FriendFeed, which funnily enough was founded by former Google employees.
Catalog Search, the predecessor of Google's controversial Book Search, will also be closing down, as the product wasn't really that popular either. Launched in 2001, Catalog Search was Google's first effort to make offline information available online, by scanning product catalogs. I guess people prefer Amazon instead of online catalogs, so Catalog Search will be replaced (or say upgraded) to more offline content such as magazines, newspapers and books.
Active development for Google Notebook will be stopped, noted the service's blog. No more features will be added and no new users will be accepted. However, already registered users will be able to maintain their online notes using the service's web interface. Google Docs will basically replace Google Notebook for taking down notes, while the tasks feature in Gmail will replace to-do lists and Google Bookmarks will take over tracking of your favorite websites.
After buying YouTube, it seemed rational for Google to put a hold on its Video service. Content on Google Video will still be available, just that the video upload option will be removed. Again, to remove duplicate functionality, Video will basically get replaced with YouTube and Picasa, which now supports video uploads and sharing.
Will you be missing any of the Google services that will be discontinued? Let us know in the comments.
Full PC World coverage of Google's announcements: