In fact, as far as I know, Netflix has only ever killed support for one platform -- The PS2. And that was only because there were only about 10 people left using it.
So we sent them all Rokus and told them we're discontinuing PS2 support.
Every day with streaming still working is considered a win
On the bright side I bought a new TV and found, to my surprise, digital antenna works much much better now. I have two TVs, the flat screen from ~2010 gets 3 channels, the new one gets 30. They're connected to the same source.
Bummer. Put it on the side of the road and someone would have LOVED to take it.
My old Panasonic TV has a handful of apps left (it's got like three home screens for apps, and like four still even exist). Thankfully Vudu, my app of choice, still works. As does Netflix and I believe Amazon Prime.
Yeah, I liked that too. It made me feel good an employee to know we did the right thing. Given the cost of the rokus vs the super happy customers plus the morale boost to the employees, it seems like a no-brainer.
Amazon did something in between those two when the Prime Video app on some Sony Blu-ray players lost support. I'm not sure if they lost support because Sony was no longer interested in pushing updates to those players, or Amazon was no longer interested in writing their app for them, but for whatever reason they were going to stop working.
What Amazon did was sent users a coupon, good for the next two months, for $25 off on a Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, or Fire TV Cube.
For quite a while during that two months, Fire TV Stick was on sale for 24.99, so with that coupon was essentially free if you didn't procrastinate too much.
a) it’s basically Google Search just with a visual representation
b) the closest the West has to a ‘Super App’ (book hotels/restaurants/movie tickets etc straight from Maps)
Apple and Google had been long time collaborators but the relationship was finally cooling off as iOS and Android competed more aggressively. Google continually pushed the rollout date for turn by turn on iOS so it was always “6 months away.”
Eventually Apple bought some mapping companies and when they were near complete Google finally added turn by turn to its iOS map app. Apple had a reaaalllll rough rollout the first ~3 years of Apple Maps I’d say, and for years after still nobody trusted Apple Maps. But they were no longer at the mercy of Google.
Not being able to switch users is pretty aggravating, though. (Both for me and the family member who's account the 3DS forces me onto.) That issue alone prettymuch keeps me from using it :(
It should be noted that the final version of the 3DS app predates multiple users, hence the limitation. The app can't be updated.
So the short answer is, everything is an API, so as long as the API stays backwards compatible it just works.
Since I run Killed by Google, I feel it's important to clarify that the average Google product lifespan is much longer than four years thanks to flagship products like Gmail, Maps, Docs, etc. I can't actually get a solid number despite a lovely spreadsheet of products that I actively track because I haven't even compiled them all yet. Anyway, I made a choice not to draw stats in killedbygoogle.com for a reason, and it's because they're misleading to most people. When I'm asked about it, I say, "The products listed lasted an average of about four years." KBG is cynical view of Google's product strategy by any measure, but at least it's not drawing empty and misleading conclusions.
They also list Google Sky Map ( https://gcemetery.co/google-sky-map/ ) which they call discontinued because Google released it as open source and handed over reigns to another group of developers, but looking at the github it still gets updates too, so I can see this one being either way. https://github.com/sky-map-team/stardroid
Another quarter were explicitly experimental (labs, glass, ara, etc.).
And another handful are products that no longer make sense in the modern world (google desktop, various toolbars, browser sync, the gmail notifier, etc.)
Hell, one of them is apparently the webconferencing software google employees used internally in like 2012, it wasn't a product.
How many years was Gmail in "beta"?
Of course it's possible that everyone has some personal favourites amongst those 164, but if an idea really has legs what's to stop people from exhuming it from the Google graveyard?
As much as I hate Google sunsetting products, I hate even more the companies that keep their zombies shuffling along in a state of undeath forever.
A good example is VB6, the runtime is still supported in Windows 10 -- and necessary for one our largest vendor products to run -- yet the VB6 IDE only runs in XP. Our business would have been really screwed if they just dropped support for it. We are, of course, working to move to a different product and have the luxury of time to do that.
Averages are misleading when the distribution is bi-or-multimodal.
What would be more helpful is a median, or percentiles (eg 75% of Google products only last X years, 25% last Y months). I imagine that would be much more representative of Google’s fail-fast experimentations.
"Living" products aren't skewing anything
We had a separate SMS app, Google Talk, the Hangouts app, Hangouts integration with SMS, the new Messages app pushing you to de-integrate from Hangouts, and whatever the hell is happening now with Allo and Duo, Allo dying, Hangouts moving to business use only, or to become a Teams competitor, or is that even happening? They successfully scared everyone away from Hangouts chat, whatever is actually happening to it, but all this time, the "chat" area of Gmail still presents what I assume is Hangouts? But I guess that's about to change also...
Now Messages itself is slowly pivoting to "chat" with the RCS rollout and I really can't understand how this could have possibly come to be like this. The branding nonsense of introducing all-new, quite similar features for consumers and pivoting the existing brands everybody already knew to business must have been based on some analytics about Hangouts video chats being a Skype competitor for remote meetings, I guess, but it's still just baffling to think about. And I haven't even mentioned Voice's overlap in several of these areas.
Putting aside the obvious confusion it creates, how can it be efficient to operate so many overlapping services that do such similar things?
You better believe I’m not coming back.
Each of those previous projects shipped and did something useful for the public and helped Google in some way, like providing technical research or laying down infrastructure later used by other projects that still exist. At the very least something got killed because the team was needed on a high priority project, where they made a big difference.
Any Xooglers care to comment? I am not asking for actual numbers, but just ballpark numbers / estimates.
If it turns out Google experiments in the open while others experiment internally and kill products too early, may be this isn't so bad after all. Society got to see what worked and what didn't.
For example, I miss Google Latitude but location sharing is a feature of Google Maps now. I never used Inbox but I assume some of the new Gmail features are from what they learned there.
There seems to be a general problem supporting employee-led innovation at scale, when the bean-counters start to control the product pipeline (and rarely look beyond the next quarter).
This is of course aside from all the other problems they have with a company culture rewarding ideas but not rewarding growing a product, and so forth.
> based on discontinued products listed on our website
This makes me think it is only dead products, which seems like it would skew things a bit.
If anything this tells me it takes them a long time to make a decision to kill something.
Does anyone know how AWS handles depreciating items on AWS. I've yet to be bitten despite beng a long time user (S3 still going / Simple DB was going last time I needed it etc).
I wouldn't be surprised if SimpleDB has been reimplemented on top of DynamoDB though.
It's unsurprising, to me at least, that they explore lots and lots of ways to sell ads. That's exactly what you do with whatever widget your company peddles.
Trips was one of the few examples of how letting Google know everything about you lead to a great experience. It'll automatically figure out my time tables, hotel reservations, and flight times. The ability to download city info and store it offline was wonderful, and its recommended itineraries, while often silly in their listed time tables, were a great jumping off point.
Nothing else can exist that does the same job, because only Google has access to literally everything about you.
It's only the average lifespan of killed products.
"The average lifespan of a DISCONTINUED Google product..."
Note this does not mean the average lifespan of a Google product is 4 years. There numbers do not include products which have NOT been killed.
"Which is what?"
"Four-year life span." --Blade Runner
Here, though, the emotional response is our attachment to a Google service.
I don't know what many of these products are either. Cloud VR cloud, but it doesn't sound like something I would shutdown maybe sell.. maybe rethink.
Whereas doing good work on product maintenance or evolution is much less rewarding.
True or not, it would explain a lot about how Google (as a whole) behaves towards products.
See the artwork of Mierle Laderman Ukeles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mierle_Laderman_Ukeles
It’s made worse by internal churn. An unstaffed service will blow up pretty quickly (because someone in infra wanted to go for promo) so you either have to justify staffing a project indefinitely or kill it gracefully.
"Hey, I think we shouldn't cancel this project."
"Not your decision."