I am getting the sense that Google is about to get real serious about getting beyond search. Why? Because it looks like the company is starting to truly focus. Part of that focus is shutting down Google Labs. Thanks for the heads up from @btabke. Here’s Google’s position from their official blog.
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.
The post was updated saying that in-product experimentation for Gmail and Maps will still exist which is a relief since those things are both fun and have proven to be pretty effective in adding to the experience of each product.
Moving forward, the post’s title, “More wood behind fewer arrows”, says quite a bit. Maybe the search giant has been spurred on by the initial success of Google+ or maybe they just figure that it’s time to get this thing moving in another direction with some of the products that already exist and have been left unattended?
I don’t know but I think it’s a very good thing for the company and something that should make the competition a little nervous. Maybe now FairSearch.org and their academic supporters (read: out of touch with reality) will have to expand their efforts and whine louder? Gee, lucky us.
I don’t know about you but I am starting to really like the new Page-era Google. It’s even made Eric Schmidt more likable (but unfortunately allows for far fewer “Did he really say that?” quotes).
What do you think?