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Google details closure plans for Gears, Knol in 'cleaning'

updated 07:35 pm EST, Tue November 22, 2011

Reveals plans for dropping 7 initiatives

Google said Tuesday it was continuing its process of eliminating products that have not had the anticipated impact, have been integrated elsewhere, or weren't in step with its new . In all, Google has announced that it has pruned seven products in this, its third-round, of off-season "spring cleaning." Included on the list are Gears and Knol.

Google created Knol in 2007 to help improve web content by enabling experts to collaborate on in-depth articles, acting as a more professional alternative to Wikipedia. Knol has been replaced by the open Annotum project, Google said. Knol will be phased out between May and October of 2012.

Gears, its extension for creating offline web apps, will be replaced by HTML5's offline capabilities. Google had initially announced that it had stopped supporting developing Gears for new browser versions in March. Next month, Gears will no longer work on any browser.

Another initiative that Google is dropping is its Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal program. This represented Google's effort to research improvements to solar power and drive down the cost of renewable energy. Other companies could now do this better, Google said. The company still is invested in renewable energy, having put more than $850 million in green power and using technology like Bloom Energy's cells.

Other programs that Google is retiring include the experimental Google Bookmarks Lists, a Google Friend Connect system effectively replaced by Google+, and the historical graphing query Google Search Timeline. Google Wave, which the company stopped supporting last year, will be turned off completely in April.

by MacNN Staff



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