What’s the next Google service to be closed down?

Google Roulette

Many people are still reeling from the closing of Google Reader. Personally, I lost my innocence when they scrapped iGoogle. So the question is which one of their essential, life-sustaining services are they going kick off the island next?

Google offers so many services and I doubt there is anyone who uses all of them all the time. So my predictions are based on the services I do use and what I see happening in that realm at the moment. Currently I’ve been poking around a few development tools and javascript libraries, and the thing I noticed was that for newer projects Google is using Github rather than Google’s own Project Hosting to share open source code.

So my prediction even after talking to an online psychic for the next Google service to go to the big server farm in the sky is . . . Project Hosting on Google Code!

Besides the projects that they’ve started hosting on Github, there’s also the fact they’ve split-off a lot of content that used to be code.google.com to developers.google.com.

Closing down their project hosting service will be more significant than closing down iGoogle or Reader, since it’s not just an end-point but rather a distribution channel for many open source projects (although none of any significance from outside Google – apart from Eclipse Labs and Apache Extras but even they’re in a separate sub-domain).

Although it is not a creation point, so all the data that is there is created apart from Project Hosting and transferring to new service should be almost seamless (for the creator). Even issues created for a project can already be exported quite easily.

It would be disappointing to see Google Project Hosting close down, they offer more features than almost any other hosting service (with the exception of Source Forge). It’s not the prettiest code hosting site on the internet but it has a clean interface and they support multiple version control systems, binary file distribution, and seamless integration with other Google services (like Blogger and Groups).

And of course, you are never being pushed towards a paid version, or restricted because you aren’t paying. Big or small, sucessful veteran or new upstart, all projects are treated equally.

So if we’re going to play Google Service Roulette, I’m betting the next one to go down is Google Project Hosting. They’ll start by no-longer creating new projects, then no longer accepting updates to existing projects, and then they’ll strongly encourage everyone to migrate (probably to Github) as they announce the end date.

Cross-posted on Schultzter’s Blog