Earlier this week, Google closed down their hugely popular RSS reading platform leaving millions of people scrambling for an alternative.
This was the result of what Google calls ‘Spring cleaning’, an ongoing effort to trim the fat, so to speak, and focus their efforts on a more streamlined stable of products.
What is interesting, though, is that despite repeated attempts to label this consolidation as a narrowing focus in favour of better developed products, Google still has many eggs in many different baskets. Apart from the obvious suspects; Google Search and GMail, even the most liberal of glances at their list of current products shows that they are in fact, a long way off what most people might call streamlined.
Of course, not all of these products and platforms are taking centre stage. Google is clearly directing a great deal more time, effort, and presumably cash-flow at a relatively smaller group of projects. Android is certainly a key interest, with Google+ and Google Play also being notable examples.
Google co-founder Larry Page famously received some words of advice from the late Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple. Jobs advised Larry Page to figure out what Google did best, and focus solely on that. Almost two years and a laundry list of retired products later, and it seems Page has heeded the advice of the Cupertino icon.
However, there’s seemingly a mountain of opportunity for further compression and it will be interesting to see how Google continue their Spring cleaning.
A likely move will be to continue the merging of products into fewer, but equally feature-rich services. Google+, the company’s popular social network, includes Hangouts, which replaced Google Talk earlier this year. A continuation of this push towards integration and concentration seems the most logical step forward from this point on.