Google has been doing some major housecleaning: The web giant announced Wednesday that it would be shuttering Google Labs, an online incubator of experimental products. Thursday, Google alerted its users in a brief blog post that it was effectively phasing out its Google Toolbar for Firefox, a feature that users could install in their Firefox browser for easy access to Google.com, Gmail, sharing, and other services (See screenshot below).
Google wrote, “While Google Toolbar for Firefox works on versions up to and including Firefox 4 only, it will not be supported on Firefox 5 and future versions.”
The company attributed its decision to stop developing the tool to improvements in the Firefox browser, noting, “For Firefox users, many features that were once offered by Google Toolbar for Firefox are now already built right into the browser.”
Since taking over as CEO of Google earlier this year, Google co-founder Larry Page has attempted to refocus the company and put more support behind key initiatives. He said in a recent earnings call, “Greater focus has also been another big feature for me this quarter — more wood behind fewer arrows,” adding, “Focus and prioritization are crucial given our amazing opportunities.”
Though Google recently launched several major new products, including Google Wallet and Google+, the company has also been on a shuttering spree. Google announced this year that it would be closing Google Video, Google PowerMeter and Google Health, and also pulled features such as estimated travel times on Google Maps and realtime search results that pulled in tweets.
What Google products are you afraid will be phased out? What do you think will be the next one to get the axe? Let us know in the comments below.