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Google shuts down Google Labs, isn't fun any more

Google has decided to power down Google Labs, in favour of becoming all serious. Some of the quirky Internet experiments it produced will be rolled into other Google Products.

Google is shutting down Labs, the weird and wacky place where it conducted crazy Internet experiments, in order to focus on bigger, more boring products.

With grim solemnity and soul-destroying management-speak, the Big G announced in a blog post it would be putting away childish things to "make the most of the opportunities ahead".

Labs experiments within particular Google products such as Gmail or Maps won't be closing, so if you're especially fond of the experimental Gmail app that lets you recall emails once you've hit 'send', have no fear.

Google says in some cases it will incorporate the Labs experiments into different products, and that many of the Android app experiments will still be available to download from the Android Market.

We'd be lying if we said we're too gutted -- it's a long time since we looked at the Labs website, to be honest. But what's more interesting is that shutting down Labs is symbolic of Google getting much more serious in the past few months.

Google has always cultivated a reputation for being a creative, ramshackle and terrifyingly experimental company. But with Google+ going live, services being polished across the board and swanky redesigns aplenty, it looks as if Google wants its products to be taken more seriously.

In a cryptic statement, Google CEO Larry Page said the company would be focusing on its big products, and expending less energy on smaller projects. "More wood behind fewer arrows" is the term he used, but honestly we don't know what that means. Is it something about sizzle and steak? If we run it up the flagpole will someone salute? And if Google goes all serious, will we ever again see mind-blowing gems such as Google Earth popping up out of nowhere?

What do you think of Google's focused approach? Let us know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.