Google kills more services

Picnik, Google Message Continuity, Needlebase and others are on the chopping block this time

Google is continuing to weed out its services and on Friday announced it will shut down Picnik, Google Message Continuity and Needlebase and make changes to some other services.

Google acquired Seattle-based Picnik in 2010, saying it would integrate the photo editing service with its own Picasa. "We're retiring the service on April 19, 2012, so the Picnik team can continue creating photo-editing magic across Google products," Dave Girouard, vice president of product management for Google, wrote in a blog post Friday.

The company is also discontinuing Google Message Continuity, its service for backing up Microsoft Exchange emails. Since launch, "hundreds" of businesses have signed up for the service, but it's clear many more are interested in Google Apps, Girouard wrote. "Going forward, we've decided to focus our efforts on Google Apps and end support for GMC," he wrote.

Google will shut down Needlebase, a data management platform, on June 1, and the Social Graph API, which isn't being widely used, on April 20.

Google also will stop offering a client-hosted version of Urchin, an online analytics product on which the company built Google Analytics. It will instead focus on the online offering of Analytics.

Finally, Google plans to open source Sky Map, the Android application that uses GPS to show users constellations in the night sky. Through a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, Google hopes to see students use Sky Map for projects, it said.

Last year Google announced the closure of a number of other products and services including Buzz, Code Search, Jaiku, Aardvark, Fast Flip, Sidewiki, Image Labeler and others.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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