Special report Ten years ago, on March 13, 2013, Google said it was discontinuing Google Reader, a popular application for reading RSS and Atom feeds.
Google's decision to do so, part of a corporate initiative dubbed "Spring Cleaning," proved vexing enough to prompt a petition to save the application, though to no avail. The web app, launched in 2005, was shut down on July 1, 2013, due to declining use, the company claimed.
Software developer Dave Winer, who runs UserLand Software and was instrumental in the creation and evolution of RSS, told The Register in an interview that Reader's demise wasn't due to RSS.
"At the time, the two founders of the company [Sergey Brin and Larry Page] felt that they had too many products," explained Winer. "And they wanted the company to get rid of some of the products.
"This is a very difficult thing for a company to do because they have users and people build on these products. They build systems out of them and people inside the company use the products. There are all kinds of reasons why once you put a product out there, you have a commitment to keep running it.