I guess it could be worse. I'll give thanks that Thomas Friedman didn't write it.
--George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language", 1946 (emphasis added)
You look at Google and for them the platform and developers are secondary. API's are not only an afterthought (such as in Google+) but they are something that other people use, not Google.
They kill services and API's because they don't need them and it doesn't effect them - but it does effect the users. I can still run SimCity or Test Drive on Windows 7, which makes me, as a user, confident that Microsoft will never throw me under the bus. This means that if you are an IT manager, you can make multi-million dollar purchasing decisions knowing that the technology will still be around and supported since Microsoft use it themselves.
Google could kill any API, and they have, and it doesn't impact themselves because they don't use these API's themselves, but they are asking developers to.
Google will never become the Microsoft of the web until they start using their own API's and until they start respecting their customers with long-term support.
Things may change and a formally-promising product may start looking grim. At that point this decision may make that product's future seem more uncertain, but I'd expect uncertainty to be dominated more by the product's poor performance/grimness.
In the end, they will probably focus on general purpose products with super large user bases (docs, maps, email, android, social network, offers, payments etc). Around those, will still be a big ecosystem for other companies.
I'm curious if products like SketchUp, Picnik, Desktop and Orkut will also be sunset soon.
IMO, "Me Too" products only make sense if you have the valid hope to be able to offer something better than the existing products. Gmail for example was vastly better than any existing popular browser based email client. Facebook is sufficiently "good" and hard to improve further, so I'm afraid Google will have a hard time coming up with something that will convince people to make the switch.
I do like Page's focus on "sit down and work it out in person". So much time wasted trying to do that over email.
Had he had a weaker personality and Woz a more assertive personality, then I think Apple would have needed to make that shift.
Sounds like Steve got his point across.
Page came to Jobs for advice on how to be a good chief executive officer, and while Jobs’ immediate reaction was to say “f-you” to Page, he remembered how HP co-founder Bill Hewlett advised him in his younger days.
“Figure out what Google wants to be when it grows up. It’s now all over the map,” reads the biography’s account of Jobs’ interaction with Page. Later Jobs came to Page with a sharp advising tone, warning Google was making products “that are adequate but not great. They’re turning you into Microsoft.”
I think he's right in many ways, Google definately doesn't work anything like Apple does, it'll just be interesting how Google comes out the "midlife crisis"
It sounds just like a nice PR push really.
In practice, for every Buzz that gets rightfully killed, we lose an invaluable resource like Code Search.
So far, the only thing they have succeeded in is search. Analytics is the best free analytics service out there that I know, with an interface like spaghetti. Adwords? Ugh... it's hideously banal to work with. Rant over.