It’s not very often that Google takes something out of labs, especially not two services at the same time. The Google Lab is considered Google’s "technology playground." Instead of saying that a service is in beta (aside from Gmail), they say it’s in labs and not quite ready for "prime time." The two most recent graduates of labs include Google Reader, and GOOG-411.
On the official Google Reader Blog, The Google Reader Team posted a break-up letter with labs saying "we don’t know how to tell you this, but it’s time that we break up." And with the breakup comes the removal of the Google Reader Labs logo which is now replaced with the logo you see to the right. They said that the addition of search played a role in taking it out of labs.
Besides the change in status, Google Reader also took into consideration the fact that news is important in the world no matter what language you speak. Up until today Reader was only available in English, however, they’ve now added support for French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, English (UK), Japanese, and Korean. Google reader is now multilingual!
And lets not forget GOOG-411 which also graduated from the Google Labs. It’s a number that you can call for free to search for local businesses. I’ve used it a handful of times already within the last few months, and it’s extremely useful. Those of you who have used it know that it used to say "GOOG 411 Experimental." Now they’ve dropped the "Experimental" part and just say "GOOG 411 – what city and state?" Apparently this service is a keeper for Google, which makes me a happy camper!
With Google Reader and GOOG-411 out of labs, what are your guesses for their next service to leave the lab? You can see an entire list of lab services here. My guess is that Google Trends will be next.