Google kills off Google Labs

Google hangs up its white coat
Google hangs up its white coat

Google has revealed that it plans to "wind down" Google Labs, the section of the search giant that houses prototype services.

The reason behinds its closure is to do with Google focusing more on the products it already has in the market, rather than releasing new ideas that may never see the light of day.

In the last month Google has closed a number of its Labs offerings, including Google Health and Powermeter and Google has confirmed that more Labs products will be taken offline, or incorporated into its core service offering.

This is all part of CEO Larry Page's "more wood behind fewer arrows" mentality, which he outlined last week.

Greater focus

In a blog post, Bill Coughran, SVP for Research and Systems Infrastructure at Google, said: "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."

Many of the products found in Google Labs have come from the company's famed 20 per cent time – where Google employees are allowed to work on their own product ideas.

According to Google, however, this time will still continue. Speaking to TechCrunch, a Google rep said that: "We'll continue to devote a subset of our time to newer and experiment projects."

So, expect to see some pretty crazy additions to Gmail soon.

You can check out our hands on video with Google+ below:

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.