The news was disseminated on the Official Google Blog by Urz Holzle, senior vice president of operations:
To recap, we’re in the process of shutting a number of products which haven’t had the impact we’d hoped for, integrating others as features into our broader product efforts, and ending several which have shown us a different path forward. Overall, our aim is to build a simpler, more intuitive, truly beautiful Google user experience.
One of the projects, the Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal (RE<C) initiative, was Google trying to drive down the costs of renewable energy to find an alternative to coal. The RE<C team was focused on solar power, but Google has now shuttered the project. "At this point, other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level," Holzle wrote. Google will continue to use more efficient and renewable energy, but will not be wasting resources researching how to make it.
Other projects that will be ended are Bookmarks List, Friend Connect, Gears, Search Timeline, Wave and Knol. Both Bookmarks Lists and Gears will end next month, Search Timeline will be folded into Google Trends, Google Wave will become read-only in Jan. 31, Friend Connect will end on non-Blogger sites March 1, and Knol will end April 30.
This all seems part of Page's plan to have "more wood behind fewer arrows," or to not fragment the search giant's resources. Instead, Page wants most of Google to be working on a few necessary projects, rather than tertiary ones. We can't blame him, while Google has loads of money and more than 30,000 employees, it still has to answer to shareholders who want to see results.