Google Input Tools for Windows Discontinued
Google has discontinued Google Input Tools for Windows. The Google Input Tools is a transliteration based input method editor, which enables users to type in their local language directly and supports many languages and scripts including Hindi, Bangla, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Tamil, Telugu etc. While, the Google Input Tools application is still available as a Chrome extension, the Windows installer is not available for download anymore.
The Chrome extension is limited to the Google Chrome and other supported browsers, but the Windows application was able to work with other applications and browsers as virtual keyboard. The transliteration based keyboard is also available on Android platform, and supports various Indian and other languages. It is also integrated with several other Google services as Input Method Editor (IME) like Google Search, Gmail, Chrome OS etc.
The Google Input Tools for Windows was very popular among the users, and many users have expressed their disappointment over the Google forum posts. A Google employee has confirmed that the Input Tools for Windows has been discontinued, and no longer available for download or installation. The offline installer available on third-party websites is also not working.
Now that Google has terminated Input Tools for Windows, users have very limited options for transliteration based or virtual keyboards on Windows operating system. Chrome users can install and use the above mentioned browser extension, which is limited to only the Chrome browser. For other applications like Microsoft Word, Excel etc., the best alternate would be Microsoft’s Indic Language Input Tools. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer similar user experience or accuracy, and is available for select Indian languages only.
We have no idea why this super useful utility was discontinued for Windows platform. Google has been actively promoting use of non-English languages over the web, but removing support for such a useful tool would definitely affect and disappoint the users.