For ages, Google Labs has been one of my favorite parts about Google. From the company aspect, it showed what happens when 20-percent projects turn out great and it was always fun to play with the new toys that came through the system. Apparently, playtime is over.
According to a post in the Official Google Blog, the company is starting to scale back its Labs product in order to tighten its focus in other directsions:
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.
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Fortunately, it doesn’t appear that all is lost. It seems that Google is determined to roll at least some of the Labs functions into already-existing products. To keep up with that, you’ll need to head to the Google Labs website. I’ve also been told by Google that Gmail Labs, Maps Labs and other product-specific channels will continue to live. It’s just the overall Labs product that will go away.