In a blog post titled “More Wood Behind Fewer Arrows,” Google announced that it will discontinue its Google Labs department as part of an effort to focus more on its products.
Bill Coughran, Google’s senior vice president for Research and Systems Infrastructure, said the company has learned a lot by launching very early prototypes in the Labs. But he added, “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.”
For years, Google Labs has been, to quote the company, “a playground where our more adventurous users can play around with prototypes of some of our wild and crazy ideas and offer feedback directly to the engineers who developed them.” It is the playground where Google Reader, Google Calendar and Google Wave – to name a few – were born.
Many ongoing projects and experiments will end immediately, and some Labs products and tech will be folded into other Google product areas. Android apps in the Lab phase, however, will still be available in the Android Market.