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Google Announces Retirement of Hangouts For its G Suite Users

Google Hangouts is a communication platform developed by the company which includes messaging, video chat, SMS and Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) features

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Google has announced the timeline of the transition from classic Hangouts to Chat and Meet for its paying G Suite customers.

The tech giant said that Hangouts retirement will start in October 2019.

Starting April 16, Chat will become available on the web for G Suite domains that have classic Hangouts enabled, but it won’t replace Hangouts just yet. Between April and September 2019, several Hangouts features will come to Chat, ahead of the former’s shutdown in October, the VentureBeat reported late on Tuesday.

However, Google won’t kill off Hangouts for regular users until those G Suite customers are all comfortably using Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, according to The Verge.

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The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

The death of classic Hangouts wouldn’t come until 2020, and that seems pretty likely given this guidance, The Verge report added.

Hangouts was launched as a replacement for Gchat in 2013 by the tech titan but has been losing features in recent years as the company has stopped updating the app and has taken away SMS messaging.

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However, Hangouts still is a prominent chat option in Gmail on the web and the app also exists on the Google PlayStore.

Google Hangouts is a communication platform developed by the company which includes messaging, video chat, SMS and Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) features. (IANS)

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Unintended Consequences if You Regulate us for The Sake of it: Google CEO Sundar Pichai

The news comes amid the debate on whether large technology companies like Facebook should be broken up

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, California.

Facing an anti-trust probe from the US government, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has cautioned against those who may want to regulate the tech giants “for the sake of regulating.”

In an interview with CNN Business, Pichai said his company had gone through similar situations in Europe, so the probe wasn’t a surprise for them. “For some of the other companies, maybe the scrutiny is newer,” Pichai said on Friday.

“Scrutiny is right, and we will participate constructively in these discussions,” he said and added: “I worry that if you regulate for the sake of regulating it, it has a lot of unintended consequences.”

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Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai. Wikimedia Commons

The news comes amid the debate on whether large technology companies like Facebook should be broken up.

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On an anti-trust complaint from the European Commission regarding ranking of shopping search results and ads in 2010, Google was fined $2.7 billion in 2017. (IANS)