Cloud Computing: Google Labs Shutdown: 10 Experiments Worth Saving
Google CEO Larry Page made a point on the search-engine giant's second-quarter earnings call July 14 that the company is looking to "put more wood behind fewer arrows," a euphemism for trimming the proverbial fat. Less than a month after promising to shutter Google Health and PowerMeter, Google is winding down Google Labs, the company's effort to cultivate new products. Historically Labs projects were served up to users as prototypes. Some of them, such as Google Maps and Google Docs, became household products. Others were retired. Going forward, some Labs experiments will be killed, and others will be rolled into other products and technologies as Page and Co. seek to cut costs and streamline resources. Many of the experiments that are currently available as Android applications will remain available in the Android Market. "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," wrote Bill Coughran, senior vice president for research and systems infrastructure at Google. Coughran also noted that development and experimentation with established products such as Gmail Labs or Maps Labs will remain unchanged for now. This eWEEK slide show looks at the top 10 Labs experiments we would like to see live on for consumers.