iGoogle and host of other products fall foul of Google's 'spring clean'

Google has announced further "spring cleaning" plans, which will see the shutdown of several products, including iGoogle.

"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," Matt Eichner, general manager of Google's global enterprise search, wrote in a blog post.

Google will retire iGoogle on 1 November 2013, so users have 16 months to "adjust or export their data," Eichner said.

The product, which allowed for a customisable Google.com homepage, launched in 2005 "before anyone could fully imagine the ways that today's web and mobile apps would put personalised, real-time information at your fingertips," he continued.

Over the years, iGoogle got chat functionality, as well as social gadgets and nature themes, among other things.

Other products facing the cut are Google Mini, Google Talk Chatback, Google Video, and the Symbian Search App.

Google Mini is part of Google's enterprise search service, but will shut down on 31 July since "its functionality can be better provided by products like Google Search Appliance, Google Site Search and Google Commerce Search," Eichner said.

Google Talk Chatback, meanwhile, allowed websites to embed a Google Talk widget, but that's now outdated and Google is encouraging people to use Meebo, which it acquired last month.

Google has been warning users about the demise of Google Video for some time now; the service stopped accepting videos in May 2009, after all. But the absolute final day to migrate, delete, or download Google Video content will be 20 August. After that, all videos will be moved to YouTube as private content.

The Symbian Search app is being retired, meanwhile, so Google can focus on its mobile Web search experience.

"Closing products always involves tough choices, but we do think very hard about each decision and its implications for our users," Eichner wrote. "Streamlining our services enables us to focus on creating beautiful technology that will improve people's lives."

Google has been cleaning house for more than a year, ever since Larry Page took over as CEO and shifted to a product-focused management structure. In September Google announced the shutdown of services like Aardvark and Flip, and followed that up with the end of Google Buzz and other products like Google Labs, Boutiques.com, and more.