Google Labs, thanks for the innovation


(CBS) - Imagine a world without Google Maps. We would have to go back to the days of clicking a button to wait for a page to refresh before we could move in any direction on a map. And you can forget about seamless zooming.

That's because Google Maps was the first of its kind to use asynchronous JavaScript and extensible markup language (AJAX). Coding in AJAX enabled users to grab and drag sections of a map and zoom without refreshing the page.

The project was once part of Google Labs, a website that contains all of the search engine's experimental projects. Other projects that have graduated into supported products include iGoogle and Google Reader.

How about all of the laughs that we've gotten from Google Suggests? Many blogs have posted funny search results. Google Docs and Spreadsheets overhauled the way we collaborate with co-workers and friends.These tools have changed the way we live.

Google is currently narrowing its focus, as described in the blog post: "More wood behind fewer arrows." In the announcement,senior vice president of "we're prioritizing our product efforts. As part of that process, we've decided to wind down Google Labs."

He added, "We believe that greater focus is crucial if we're to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead."

With the Google+ gaining steam, we don't blame them. But we can't help but feel warm and fuzzy about all of that innovation goodness.