The closure of Google Reader came out of the blue for many people, including me, but really, it absolutely should not have done. If anything, it was staring us in the face. Google has a habit of trying things out for short periods of time and then, like the 3 year old toddler, throwing them to one side if they don't do quite what they expect. I've written about Google killing off products before, and I'm sure that I will again. It's abundantly clear that Google isn't interested in the number of users that a product has, since Reader had millions of them.They're entirely up front about this: "We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too." What's really hard to stomach here is the total hypocrisy of that statement - they're not sad - it's entirely within their own power to change or improve or keep the product.
Let's not forget however, it's not just Reader that they've closed in this round, but they have done away with some scripts, APIs, Google Building Maker, Cloud Connect and others as mentioned in their blog post. So, what's going to go next? Due to Google's weird behaviours where they'll buy stuff up and play with it for a while, there are plenty of options. Google TV (what do you mean, you've never heard of it?) is going to disappear - it's never made any inroads and no-one talks about it, and that means it doesn't make money. Want something bigger? How about Blogger? Google has always had a love hate relationship with the tool; it bought it up, did nothing with it for years until people starting leaving in droves, then did a bit of fixing. They've not done much with it since, and there are lots of alternatives out there. Groups is another possibility; now we're powering ahead with G+ communities, I can certainly see them dumping Groups, much though I hope they don't because it's a useful tool. Baraza? What, do you mean you haven't heard of that one either? (Hint; neither has anyone else, that's why it'll disappear).
That's not the real damage though. It's that total lack of trust that I have with Google nowadays. (Well, if truth be known, that I've had since about 2004.) There are rumours that Google is going to announce a new tool called Keep, which is going to be a cloud based note taking service to rival Evernote. Now, for those of you with long memories, Google had a really nice product called Google Notebook, but they killed that off as well. This might be a new cloud based version coming back, but do you REALLY want to walk directly into the hands of the kidnappers to hold yourself hostage to a product that Google might just decide to can in the next few years? Think about it...
So; the real message, which is not a new one and is one that I bang on about now and then is simple:
Google is not your friend. Do not trust Google. Google just wants to make money.