The latest round of shutdowns at Google has been announced and it is, once again, a number of products most people have never heard of or assumed were already gone. We'll start with our favorite Google disaster: Google Wave. The product was announced at Google I/O in 2009, but no one was ever as excited about Wave as Google was. The social collaboration system, which allowed email, text messages and real-time document editing, was never the hit Google assumed it would be and inevitably was closed for development. Jan 31, 2012 will see Wave go read-only with full shutdown April 30.
Knol was billed as a replacement for Wikipedia in 2007, allowing experts in the field to maintain the data. Unfortunately, no one ever knew the product existed and it suffered the standard Google fate. The service will be retailed through April 2012, allowing users to get their data out, or migrate it to WordPress. The system will be shut down completely October 1.
That's not all that's going away. Hit the break for the rest of the list.
Google's failure to understand social didn't start with Google Buzz. In fact, it started in 2008 when they thought they would compete against Facebook with Google Friend Connect - a program to allow websites to integrate social aspects by adding little to no code. With nothing special about it over other services, it failed to gain any traction. That added to the fact that there is no way to make it profitable, Google will shut it down March 1, 2012. Google's solution is to create a Google+ account.
Google Gears, their way to make online products available offline, will be discontinued in favor of Google's HTML5 focus. Support has already ended for the plugin, December 1 existing products will cease to function and Gears will no longer be downloadable. Google Bookmarks List, their attempt at Digg-ish, will cease operation on December 19.
Google Search Timeline, your way to interact with Google's snooping on search results, is going away in favor of time-period search from the results page and Google Trends. Not a product anyone is really going to miss. They are also losing another green technology initiative, Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal. This was a project to decrease the cost of solar power development. They have published their findings leaving others to do the future work.
What's the next product Google will shutter? Only time will tell.