Google Cloud seeks to abandon its ‘Killed By Google’ reputation

The new approach includes notifying customers at least one year in advance that a product will be killed off

Google Cloud is looking to turn around the tech giant’s reputation for sunsetting legacy tools despite their popularity among customers.

This is according to statements made by Google Cloud VP Kripa Krishnan, who told Business Insider that the company will be readjusting its approach towards killing off products:

"We want Google Cloud to be something stable that customers can rely on for a long-term time," she told the publication on Monday, adding that the company was “obviously (...) not doing the right thing” by sunsetting fan favourites such as Picasa and Reader or even the less popular Google+.

“What we were doing was clearly not working. We are trying to address that head on,” said Krishnan, who leads Google’s Technical Infrastructure team.

The decision to address Google’s poor reputation was prompted by “Killed By Google” – a satirical website and Twitter account run by software engineer Cody Ogden, who keeps track of all the tools Google has decided to shutdown.

Google's new approach now includes a new policy of notifying customers at least one year in advance that a product will be killed off, excluding instances of an intractable security bug or intellectual property issues.

However, even in these cases, the company will “do everything possible to make migration as effortless as possible for customers”.

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"If we need to make a breaking change, we will make sure the burden is on us," she said.

According to Krishnan, Google Cloud will try to win back the trust of developers by being more supportive of customer needs and “not just announce something”.

"My intent is we don't have these issues going forward," she said.

Krishnan’s announcement comes months after Google killed off Cloud Print, its cloud-based printing solution, without providing users with a clear reason for the closure. Last year, the tech giant also unceremoniously abandoned Hangouts, its most popular messaging app, with only a few weeks notice.

Despite this, Krishnan insisted that Google “already [has] dependability and reliability”.

"We just want to make sure we extend it to its fullest extent possible in Google Cloud,” she added.

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