Over at Google Blog a announced has been made of shutting down Google Labs. "Last week we explained that we're prioritizing our product efforts. As part of that process, we've , decided to wind down Google Labs," informed Bill Coughran, SVP for Research and Systems Infrastructure. "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," Coughran said.
"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," added Coughran.
Here's Google CEO Larry Pages' call:
Good afternoon everyone--thanks for joining us today
It's exciting to be on the call today and to share directly with you the progress we have made in my first quarter as CEO
As you will have seen from our press release we had a great quarter--with revenue up by 32 per cent year on year and a new record for quarterly revenue at over $9 billion!
We have substantially increased our velocity and execution this quarter--a key goal of mine since taking over as CEO
It's why I created a new, product focused management structure--with a clear leader responsible for each product area
This new management team is working together fabulously … and has already achieved a lot in just three months
First we launched Google+ to field trial invitation only
Our goal with Google+ is to make sharing on the web like sharing in real life, as well as to improve the overall Google experience
Circles let you choose with precision who you are sharing with. Not surprisingly this has been very well received, because in real life, we share different things with different people.
Hangouts allow for serendipitous interactions. Like in real life when you run into a few friends. It gives you seamless and fun multi user video and it's really amazing!
Last quarter, we launched the +1 button in search results and ads--enabling users to recommend stuff they liked, and have those recommendations show up in the search results of people they know
This quarter, we released +1 buttons to the entire web, and many sites like Huffington Post, the Washington Post and Best Buy have added +1 buttons
Google+ is still only in field trial with limited access as we scale the system
Users have to be invited, sign up with a profile in order to use it
However, the growth on Google+ has been great--and I'm excited to release some new metrics for you today
Over 10M people have joined Google+
Great achievement for the team
There's also a ton of activity
We are seeing over 1 billion items shared and received in a single day
Our +1 button is already all over the web
It's being served 2.3 billion times a day
So while we have a lot of work still to do, we are really excited about our progress with Google+
Google+ is also a great example of another focus of mine--beautiful products that are simple and intuitive to use and was actually was one of the first products to contain our new visual redesign.
We also launched that beautiful, consistent and simpler design on our home page, Gmail and calendar with many more products soon to come.
Greater focus has also been another big feature for me this quarter--more wood behind fewer arrows
Last month, for example, we announced that we will be closing Google Health and Google PowerMeter
We've also done substantial internal work simplifying and streamlining our product lines
While much of that work has not yet become visible externally, I am very happy with our progress here
Focus and prioritization are crucial given our amazing opportunities
Indeed I see more opportunities for Google today than ever before
Because believe it or not we are still in the very early stages of what we want to do
Even in search … which we've been working on for 12 years there have never been more important changes to make
For example this quarter we launched a pilot that shows an author's name and picture in the search results, making it easier for users to find things from authors they trust.
Of course when we started doing search, people thought we were crazy--they said there was no money to be made in search over and above a bit of banner advertising
Most new internet businesses have had the same criticism
Fast forward to today--it feels like we are watching the same movie again in slow motion
We have tremendous new businesses being viewed as "crazy"
We actually have a new metric to report of 550,000 Android Devices activated a day!
That's a HUGE number even by Google's standards
It's the fastest growing browser
With over 160 million users
People rightly ask how we will monetize these businesses?
And of course I understand the need to balance the short term with the longer term needs because our revenues and growth serve as the engine that funds our innovation
But our emerging high usage products can generate huge new businesses for Google in the long run, just like search
And we have tons of experience monetizing successful products over time
Well run technology businesses with tremendous consumer usage make a lot of money over the long term
I think about our products in three separate categories
First, there is search and our ads products, the core driver of revenue for the company. Nikesh and Susan are going to talk more about ads later in the call
Next, we have products that are enjoying high consumer success--YouTube, Android and Chrome. We are investing in these in order to optimize their long-term success
Then we have our new products--Google+ and Commerce and Local. We are are investing in them to drive innovation and adoption
Overall, we are focused on long term absolute profit and growth, as we have always been--and I will continue the tight financial management we have had in the last two years, even as we are making significant investments in our future
I would like to finish on our people
Great companies are no greater than the efforts and ingenuity of their people
So continuing to hire the best, keeping them happy and well rewarded is crucial to our future
Many of you will be interested in hiring--whether we hired a few hundred more or less than you expected this quarter. But we will optimize headcount for the long term and the opportunities we see
So I'm happy with the investments we've made in people, though we're probably even a little ahead of where we need to be with headcount growth at the edge of what is manageable now
It is easy to focus on things 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're very careful stewards of shareholder money -- we're not betting the farm on this stuff.
All of us at Google want to create services that people across the world use twice a day … just like a toothbrush!
And we strive to make those services beautiful, simple and easy to use
That way we can provide huge benefit to the world
We have made a good start but we are at only 1 per cent of what's possible … Google is just getting started … and that is why I am here--working hard to lead this company to the next level
Thank You. And again, we had a great quarter.