Labs lapsed

We love Google's slapdash approach to new products - letting their staff spend 20% of their time on their own projects and then just sort of chucking them out. But in recent months there have been signs that the big G is getting a bit more careful about its product portfolio. It shut down Google Wave when it could have just let it meander along, and it's introducing a new, more common design which makes its products look more alike.

And now Google Labs, the home of much of Google's funnest new stuff, is being shut down. 'We're prioritizing our product efforts. As part of that process, we've decided to wind down Google Labs,'Google said on their official blog.

The 'labs' sections of services like Gmail, which trial new features, will continue, so this seems to be a sign of Google continuing to develop existing services - but slowing down the introduction of new ones. This might be appropriate given the need to provide a more integrated, slick service to compete with the likes of Facebook.

But this'll still make it harder for '20% projects' to make it into the public domain, which seems a shame. Where will we get the next equivalent of Google Body, or bonkers data mining project Google Correlate?

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