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Google's first stab at social networking, the failed Google Buzz, is just one of a group of projects and programs that Mountain View has cast off in a "fall sweep", the sequal to its "fall spring-clean" of last month.

"Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past," wrote Google VP for products Bradley Horowitz in a blog post on Friday. "We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+."

By "honesty", we can only assume that Horowitz means that Buzz – beset with a host of privacy problems from its inception – honestly never caught on.

"In a few weeks we'll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+," Horowitz wrote. "While people obviously won't be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it using Google Takeout."

Also scheduled for the chopping block are Code Search, which on January 15, 2012 will be shut down along with its API, and Jaiku, a Twitter-like service that Google acquired in late 2007.

The iGoogle personalization service will lose its social-networking component on January 15, 2012, as well, although its other features will remain. The reason for this change is simple: Horowitz chalked it up to "our new focus on Google+."

Horowitz didn't explain, however, why Mountain View is is shutting down its University Research Program for Google Search, which gave select university researchers direct access to Google's search results. Having announced its third-quarter net income on Thursday of $2.73bn, Google could certainly afford keeping it open.

And, as announced in July, Google Labs is shutting down – the site's last day is Friday.

So long, Buzz, Code Search, Jaiku, Google Labs, and the University Research Program for Google Search – and thanks for all the fish. ®

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