Google Labs is closing down. Google announced as much on its official blog today. I’m not sure what this really means other than new Google experiments will come out without the Google Labs label, and likely just with a beta label attached to them, but here’s what Bill Coghran, SVP for Research and Systems Infrastructure had to say:
Last week we explained that we’re prioritizing our product efforts. As part of that process, we’ve decided to wind down Google Labs. While we’ve learned a huge amount by launching very early prototypes in Labs, we believe that greater focus is crucial if we’re to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead.
In many cases, this will mean ending Labs experiments—in others we’ll incorporate Labs products and technologies into different product areas. And many of the Labs products that are Android apps today will continue to be available on Android Market. We’ll update you on our progress via the Google Labs website.
We’ll continue to push speed and innovation—the driving forces behind Google Labs—across all our products, as the early launch of the Google+ field trial last month showed.
The most recent Google Labs project to be released was Swiffy – the SWF to HTML5 file converter. Other projects to come out this year include: Google Scribe, Julia Map, Art Project, Google Correlate, Page Speed Online, and Google Talk Guru.
Other notable experiments to come out over the years include: Fast Flip, Google Goggles, Google Listen, Google News Timeline, Public Data Explorer, Google Squared, Sky Map for Android, Shopper, Google Moderator, Google Code Search, Google Mars, Google Desktop, Google Groups, Google Alerts, iGoogle and Google Suggest.
Even Google Reader, Google Maps, Google Docs, Google Trends, and Google Social Search started out in Labs.
It’s unclear just what projects they’ll be shutting down. We’ve already seen some make their way into other products. Google Squared, for example is already being used to deliver some kinds of related search results in Google Search. I would assume Google will keep us posted as they shut down on plans for individual items.
Google also recently announced it was closing the doors on Google Health and Powermeter.