Google has had a bit of a clear out just in time for the new term, ditching ten products and services that aren't "improving the lives of billions of people".

Like an eager school girl ditching last year's pencil case in favour of a brand new stationery line up, Google has thrown out its tech equivalents of blunt crayons, chipped rulers and leaking biros ready for a fresh 'fall' start.

So say goodbye to Google Desktop, a plug-in that searched your computer rather than the web and which built-in OS search functions have made somewhat redundant.

Otis the Aardvark

It's also so long, farewell to Aardvark, a social search product that "helped people answer each other's questions" which Google acquired for the not insignificant sum of $50 million in 2010.

However, big G promises that "we'll continue to work on tools that enable people to connect and discover richer knowledge about the world".

Other products getting the boot include Fast Flip, a mobile news browser, Google Maps API for Flash, Google Pack, Google Web Security, Image Labeler, Notebook (all data is being automatically exported to Google Docs), Sidewiki and Subscribed Links.

Some features of the various software will be incorporated into other Google services, and the search giant has stated that all Google employees working on these products will be moved to other departments.

Google hopes that clearing out the dead wood will "make things much simpler for our users" as well as allowing the company to "devote more resources to high impact products" and "focus on building world-changing products with a truly beautiful user experience."

Gutted to be losing your favourite Google-owned product? Share your grief with us in the comments below.

From The Official Google Blog