MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Web search leader Google Inc. (GOOG) Thursday introduced a personalized Google home page, moving in a direction rivals such as Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) and Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) MSN portal have already been moving in.
The personalized Google home page integrates other already available Google features, such as its e-mail service Gmail (search), news, weather, stocks, driving directions, movie listings and the like.
While Google has long said it had no interest in becoming a portal and luring users to spend much of their Internet time on the Google site, its move Thursday puts it in even more direct competition with Yahoo and Microsoft, among others.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company also said it offers a broad inclusion of content, such as the BBC, the New York Times, tech news Website Slashdot, Quote of the Day and Word of the Day.
Google's rivals in search, Yahoo and Microsoft, have long offered personalized home pages on which users can customize news, weather, stocks, television listings, movie listings and more.
Google said its personalized home page is only available now in a beta, or test, version at http://labs.google.com.