Google discontinues Aardvark and 9 other products

Google Inc. is shutting down Aardvark, Google Desktop and eight other software products and Web features it said didn’t pay off for the Internet search leader.
The company described the move on its blog as “a fall spring-clean.”
“Technology improves, people’s needs change, some bets pay off and others don’t, Alan Eustace, a senior vice president at Google, said in the blog post on Friday.
Notable among the products to be discontinued is Aardvark, a free question-and-answer Web service that Google bought for $50 million last year. It was experimenting with social search. Eustace said the company will continue to work on similar tools.
Google is abandoning Desktop on Sept. 14 because the shift from local to cloud-based storage and computing and the integration of search and gadget functionality into most modern operating systems has reduced demand for it.
Also being shut down or merged into other products in the coming weeks and months are Fast Flip, Google Maps API for Flash, Google Pack, Google Web Security, Google Image Labeler, Google Notebook, Sidewiki and Subscribed Links.
Eustace said it amounts to targeting the company’s resources more effectively. All the employees working on the affected projects will be shifted to higher-impact products, he said.
The announcement comes with CEO Larry Page moving to streamline company operations.