Google intros widget home page customisation

The new version makes it much easier to build a customised home page using Ajax technology alongside RSS and Atom feeds.

The new Google personalisation features are not a million miles away from the ‘Gadgets’ recently launched by Microsoft for its Live.com service. Users can either choose from a number of preset feeds or create their own although it lacks the drag and drop usability of the Microsoft version.

Google began experimenting with the personalised home page earlier this year and moving away from the clean interface on which it had built its success. The new service offers a way to add a range of news feeds and other content such as diets, recipes and, sportingly one might think, MSNBC Travel and Ask Yahoo!.

Google has already published the API to the personalised home page and is encouraging developers to come up with new widgets to add to the collection, claiming that it is ‘designed to be flexible and easy to use’.

As a start, some Google engineers have built a few such applets of their own, which can be seen – along with the source code – at the Google ig directory site

To customise your Google home page yourself go to www.google.com/ig.

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