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from the L.A. Times

Google says it's winding down Google Labs

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Google says it's winding down Google Labs, a website that let users play with new products that Google engineers were experimenting with.

The announcement came in a blog post aptly named "More wood behind fewer arrows," referring to Google CEO Larry Page's statement during last week's earnings call that he's bringing greater focus to fewer products.

Google says it has no plans to get rid of Gmail Labs or Maps Labs.

Page has axed other projects such as Google Health, which organized health information online, and Google PowerMeter, software that let people measure their home's energy usage.

As an incubator for new products, Google Labs is –- at least on the surface –- a deeper cut. Many of the company's successful products got their start there including Google Maps, Google News and Google Trends. But many more never turned into hits. Now there will be more of an emphasis on major initiatives and less of one on smaller, standalone projects.

"In many cases, this will mean ending Labs experiments -- in others we'll incorporate Labs products and technologies into different product areas," Bill Coughran, Google's senior vice president of research, said on the company's blog.

Many Labs products that are in the Android Market can still be downloaded to phones powered by Google's Android mobile software.

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-- Jessica Guynn

Photo: Larry Page, Google CEO and co-founder, at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, in this September 27, 2007 file photograph. Credit: Chip East/Reuters

 
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