Google Reader was an important tool for aggregation of RSS feeds that facilitated sharing (at least until Google+ was forced into it), and was an important platform for RSS applications. A large number of people invested a great deal of time and effort in it, which is lost when Google abruptly shuts it down.
Google's users deserved better, at least a year of warning if nothing else. But, coming on the heels on so many other abrupt here-today-gone-tomorrow shutdowns by Google, there are lessons here that users would do well to heed: Google is not a reliable provider of services, and cloud computing has an important risk -- when a software company discontinues a product, you may be able to keep using it for a long period of time, but when a cloud service is discontinued, it's game over.
(With Gmail you can use POP or IMAP to migrate to another standard email service. Exporting feeds from Google Reader through Google Takeout is much less helpful.)
As a result, I no longer recommend Google cloud services.
- Google kills retires Reader in new round of 'spring cleaning' • The Register
- Should the demise of Google Reader teach us a lesson? | Computerworld Blogs
- R.I.P Reader: Google giveth, and Google taketh away | TechBlog | a Chron.com blog