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Google shuts down Google Labs

As Google focuses its resources more on core products that can make it money, the company is shutting down its test bed for more experimental projects.

Google CEO Larry Page is making good on his promise to put more wood behind fewer arrows as the company focuses more of its resources and efforts on its core products.

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Google today announced in a blog post that the company will discontinue its Google Labs efforts. Bill Coughran, Google's senior vice president for Research and Systems Infrastructure, said the company has learned a lot by launching very early prototypes in the Labs. But he added that the company's "greater focus is crucial if we're to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead."

What this means for Google Labs right now is that some projects and experiments will end immediately. And some Labs products and tech will be folded into other Google product areas. Coughran also said many Google Labs products that are available as apps through the Android Market will continue to be offered there.

"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," Coughran said in the blog post.

Last week, after the company's earnings were released, Google CEO Larry Page tried to reassure analysts and investors that the company is focusing on projects that will offer the biggest returns on investment.

"Overall, we are focused on long-term, absolute profit and growth, as we have always been," Page said. "It's easy to focus on things that we do that are speculative, e.g., driverless cars. But we spend the vast majority of our resources on the core products. We may have a few small speculative projects happening at any given time, but we are very careful stewards of shareholder money. We are not betting the farm on this stuff."

Google recently killed off a couple of other projects that were not gaining traction. Last month it pulled the plug on Google Health, a personal health records service, and turned off the lights on Google PowerMeter, a service for monitoring Web-based home energy use.

Correction 2:25 p.m. PT: The original version of this story incorrectly attributed the author of Google's blog post announcing the end of Google Labs. Bill Coughran, senior vice president for Research and Systems Infrastructure, wrote the blog post.