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Google closes sync service for BlackBerry in latest product cull

23 Apr 2012
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Google will shut down seven more of its online properties in yet another product cull, including its sync service for BlackBerry smartphones.

In the last six months, the web giant has closed over 15 products and services in an effort to bring more focus to the business.

As well as the BlackBerry sync service, the latest 'spring clean' will see the end of the Google Related browsing assistant, the mobile web app for Google Talk, the Google One Pass payment platform for online news publishers, and a number of Picasa photo sharing services.

"Spring has now arrived and we're ready to close or combine another round of products. Focus is crucial if we are to improve our execution," said Matthias Schwab, Google cloud services director, in a company blog post.

"We have so many opportunities in front of us that without hard choices we risk doing too much and not having the impact we strive for."

BlackBerry users that already have the sync application installed will still be able to use it, but the application will not be available for download after 1 June.

Schwab encouraged users to switch to Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server or the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS). Via BlackBerry setup, users can automate email, calendar and contacts sync for Google.

"These alternatives offer a better overall experience, as you can sync your email messages, calendar and contacts through a single service," he said.

Research in Motion (RIM) declined to comment on the announcement.

Google's axing of products began in October 2011 with many of its social networking applications, including Buzz and Jaiku, as well as its testing service Labs, all being shut down.

Google continued to shut down its social portfolio the following month, retiring services such as Knowl, Wave, Friend Connect and Gears - to make room for Google+.

This year's product culls tend to be less geared towards Google's social portfolio, with the web giant appearing to focus on retiring support for its competitor services.

For instance, Google cut back-up support for Microsoft Exchange in January, prior to this week's announcement about BlackBerry.

In related news Yahoo recently announced plans to cut its product portfolio.

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Rosalie Marshall

Rosalie Marshall is the special projects editor and chief reporter at V3. Previously she was a reporter for IT Week and channel editor for online television site Rosalie covers government IT, business applications, IT skills, open source technology and social networks.

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