Google has axed an unpopular edition of Google Apps and a podcast player as the company continues to purge its product roster of services and applications that it considers redundant or obsolete.
Beginning September 4, the company will start shutting down Google Apps for Teams, an edition of the cloud-based collaboration and communication suite that didn't require organisations to switch their email system to Gmail in order to use other components like Docs, Talk and Calendar.
Launched in 2008, Google Apps for Teams didn't gain enough traction because prospective users didn't find it useful, the company said last week. Google Apps for Teams accounts will be converted into personal Google accounts.
Another change in Google Apps is that the Google Video for Business component in the Apps for Business and Apps for Education editions is going away. The reason is that its video-hosting and sharing functionality can be performed from Google Drive, so starting in the autumn, Google will migrate Video for Business hosted videos to Drive.
"All migrated videos will be stored for free and will not count against a user's Google Drive storage quota," said Max Ibel, director of engineering at Google.
Meanwhile, Google Listen, an application launched in 2009 to search for and play podcasts, has been discontinued and its search function will be disabled after November 1. People who have installed the application will be able to continue using it.
As options, Google suggests checking out a variety of podcasting applications in its Google Play online store and managing podcast subscriptions on Google Reader, the company's RSS feed tool.
Google also said last week that it plans to trim down the more than 150 different corporate blogs it uses to make announcements about the company and its products. Blogs that have become redundant or aren't updated frequently will be closed down. "This doesn't mean that we'll be sharing any less information - we'll just be posting our updates on our more popular channels," Ibel said.
The effort to streamline Google's menu of applications and online services began as a mandate from co-founder Larry Page after he took over as CEO in April of last year. More than 30 products have been eliminated or combined so far.