Microsoft Labs not as popular as they once were

Remember Microsoft Live Labs? They were a way for the company to work on various interesting projects such as Pivot visual search and more. Now it looks like Microsoft has been very quietly retiring a number of their Lab projects or merging them with other operations. For example, the Live Labs URL now takes you to the Bing.com web site. Adcenter Labs's URL takes its visitors to a page on Microsoft's Advertising web page.

According to a ZDnet.com story, a number of these former Microsoft Lab projects, including Dev Labs, Startup Labs and others, are either shut down or have had their teams moved to new departments. One of the exceptions is Office Labs. Its web site is still in operation although it has now been moved to become a part of the full Microsoft Office web site, rather than a stand alone web page.

When asked about the status of Office Labs, a Microsoft spokesperson said:

The mission of Office Labs remains the same and we are continuing to work collaboratively across the team and the company on productivity innovation. In addition to envisioning the future vision videos, the team is focused on an array of projects ranging from the prototyping of concepts, to longer-term incubations.

One Microsoft Lab project that is still in full operation is SQL Azure Labs which has a number of public projects that are currently being worked on.

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