Google has announced that it will be starting to put an end to Google Labs, its experimental software hub online.
Google Labs is the place to go if you want to try out some Beta software or new features, especially for Google products such as Maps and Gmail. Some of Google’s big ideas sprouted in Google Labs and made it out into the big world as we know them today. Google Maps, Google Desktop and Google Reader all graduated from the Lab and are now fully fledged pieces of software used worldwide by millions.
The Big G says they are closing down Labs to focus on the bigger plans they have, like Android, Google+ and Gmail. In-product experiments will continue to go ahead and be implemented into things like Gmail and Maps, but we will no longer be able to download and play around with Beta versions of Google’s ideas. Sad times indeed.
The full blog post by Bill Coughran, SVP for Research and Systems Infrastructure announcing the end of Google Labs can be read below.
“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.
Update 3:36pm: To clarify: we don’t have any plans to change in-product experimentation channels like Gmail Labs or Maps Labs. We’ll continue to experiment with new features in each of our products.”