Google Reader shutting down on July 1

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Google said Wednesday it was tossing its Reader service and seven other products under a house cleaning campaign that has closed 70 of the Internet giant's features in the past two years.

"These changes are never easy," Google senior vice president of technical infrastructure Urs Holzle said in a blog post.

"But by focusing our efforts, we can concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives."

Reader was launched in 2005 as a way for people to keep track of updates to favored websites using RSS feeds, which have become passe on the Internet.

"While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined," Holzle said, noting that the Google Reader service will retire on July 1.

Google's Building Maker, designed to help people make 3-D models of structures for the Internet firm's online maps, will be put out of commission June 1.

Support for Google Voice's app for Blackberry handsets will end next week.

"For Blackberry users who want to continue using Google Voice, we recommend they use our HTML5 app, which is more secure and easier for us to keep up to date," Holzle said.

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