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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

May 10, 2006 at 12:04 PM

Google (actual) News

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Announcements so far at Google’s Media Day:

Google Trends: A service that lets you users see patterns of search activity. Type a term into the trends search window, and it will display a chart showing search activity for that term over several years. It also shows search activity for that term in particular cities, regions or languages.

Google Desktop, Version 4, including a new Google media player: Available for download. The big feature is Google Gadgets, similar to those available on the Mac operating system, from Yahoo! and on Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Vista.

“The cornerstone of this launch is Google Gadgets,” Vice President Marissa Mayer said.

Gadgets that come with the desktop include a weather device and a small application that displays events on user’s Google calendar service.

The desktop asks users if they want to set up a personalized Google home page, similar to Microsoft’s Live.com personal home page. Based on user’s search history, the home page is automatically filled with features such as a display of their local weather conditions and data on their favorite stocks.

Fun elements include an optional pair of “eyes” that can be installed on a user’s desktop. The eyes are a pair of O’s from the Google logo, with black pupils that move around when the user moves their computer mouse.

Also announced: Google Co-op, a search refinement system that taps into user opinions and advice. It includes the ability for users to subscribe to Web information sources. It also takes advantage of user input to develop clusters of focused search results around popular topics such as health.

Google Notebook: A note-taking application that lets users cut and paste search results into a sort of on-screen scratch pad. Users can also take notes in the application, and share the content of notebooks with family and friends. This is similar to note-taking applications in Microsoft’s Tablet PC software but doesn’t require any particular hardware.

“Our core and where we innovate most is really inside search because at core Google is really a search company,” Mayer said.

Comments | Topics: Google

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