After more than 20 years of availability, Google has silently unplugged the “Google Toolbar”.
from ArsTechnica Ron Amadeo took on the task of seeing the state of the Google Toolbar for the past few weeks leading up to the product’s 21st anniversary. The Google Toolbar is said to have been one of the few Google products to achieve more than two decades of uptime without rebranding or disruption. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite hit that date, as Google silently ended toolbar downloads last week. A support page explains that the product is no longer available for installation.
The Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer has been removed. To get the most out of the web, try Google Chrome.
The Google Toolbar debuted in late 2000 as a tool for Internet Explorer users, giving them the ability to access Google Search from any website. This was before browsers like Chrome added the ability to search with any search engine of your choice straight from the address bar. During the life of the product, Google updated the toolbar to support more features that Internet Explorer lacked, as well as Google Translate integration.
However, the product was largely forgotten when Chrome launched in 2008 and incorporated all of these features natively, with Google’s last update apparently landing in 2014. In retrospect, somewhat hilariously, it did. It was considered negative that Chrome does not support the toolbar.
For those who still use the Google Toolbar, this has made the product very outdated compared to the ever-changing web and Google’s own ecosystem. Like Ars points out, the “Share” button was still trying to integrate with Google Reader, Google+, Picasa, Google Blog Search, and more. Many other features were interrupted by links that simply did not exist anymore.
The timing here doesn’t really come as a huge surprise, as Microsoft is set to officially end support for Internet Explorer next year. June 15, 2022 will end the very long life of what was once the most widely used browser in the world.
Gmail stopped supporting Internet Explorer this year, and even Google Search itself dropped support in October.
Most people, however, already have their Google needs met by Chrome, which remains by far the most popular desktop browser today.
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