July 21, 2011

Google Ousts Toolbar for Firefox

Looks like Apple isn’t the only one cleaning house this week.

Google (News - Alert) is getting rid of its toolbar for Firefox, citing that many of the features are already built in to the current version of the browser, so to keep offering it seems a bit moot.

“For Firefox users, many features that were once offered by Google Toolbar for Firefox are now already built right into the browser. Therefore, while Google Toolbar for Firefox works on versions up to and including Firefox 4 only, it will not be supported on Firefox 5 and future versions,” wrote Google on its toolbar help blog.

The only browser still supported is Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Internet Explorer. Even the company’s own browser Google Chrome is not supported.

Interestingly enough, Google has posted add-on suggestions for Firefox users who relied on the Google Toolbar in the past.

The support page lists the individual features of the toolbar and links to add-ons that replicate them. Firefox users who until now worked with the Google Toolbar should visit the page once they update the browser to version 5 or later to install the features they need this way.

This is just one more product Google is sweeping out the door. Last week, the company announced its plans to halt Google Labs in an effort to resort and “prioritize” their product output.

“In many cases, this will mean ending Labs experiments—in others we’ll incorporate Labs products and technologies into different product areas,” wrote Bill Coughran. “And many of the Labs products that are Android (News - Alert) apps today will continue to be available on Android Market. We’ll update you on our progress via the Google Labs website.”

Also this week, Google has completely removed the Google Directory as a Google service. Going to directory.google.com will show you a notice that reads the “Google Directory is no longer available.”

Larry Page (News - Alert), Google’s co-founder said in a recent earnings call, “Greater focus has also been another big feature for me this quarter -- more wood behind fewer arrows,” adding, “Focus and prioritization are crucial given our amazing opportunities.”

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Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Jennifer Russell