During the Google Factory tour recently Marissa Mayer pitched a personalization option for the Google home page. A Google blog post suggests the new portal looking, customization feature was developed as a way to assembled the various features of Google in one place: Gmail, news, weather, etc.
This initial version offers links to various Google services as well as RSS feeds from several major news sites (BBC, the New York Times, Slashdot, Wired). Some nice features include drag and drop editing and dynamic sizing.
Mayer commented, “We’ve seen that there were users who wanted more on their home page… and this is a way to give them more access to their information. I feel this is different my MyYahoo!. The fact that some people may say it looks like it’s aimed at MyYahoo! was not the reason.”
Yahoo and MSN have offered personalization features for quite a while. It looks like Google is following suit and moving more towards a portal.
“Universal RSS” support will be available in 1-2 months” and the initial version will not have ads although they may be added in the future, according to Mayer.