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Google launches Web-design service

Google launched on Thursday its own service that allows people to design their own Web pages. Page Creator will compete against products from Microsoft and Apple Computer.
/ Source: Forbes

Google's Page Creator, which launched today, is yet another tool in the company's arsenal of Web-based services — this one aimed squarely at the Web site design market.

Intended as a simplistic way for less-technical people to put up a Web page, the free service will compete with products from Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - new - people), Apple Computer (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people), Adobe (nasdaq: ADBE - news - people) and even News Corp.'s MySpace. (MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)

Individual pages will be hosted at “” and each user will be able to store up to 100 megabytes of information, including images. Pages created with Page Creator will be crawled by Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people) within a few hours, making the content immediately searchable. This is an advantage over other Web-site hosts, which can take days to be included in Google's search results.

Google has often noted its desire to make all the world's information searchable, and Page Creator fits with that goal, especially if it is eventually integrated with content uploaded to the web with the company's other properties like Blogger, Base and Picasa.

If combined with Gmail and Google Talk, the service could take on a social-networking flavor, which analysts note Google lacks when compared with Web portal competitors like Yahoo! (nasdaq: YHOO - news - people). In order to compete with a social site like MySpace, however, Page Creator's customization options will have to increase. In the current beta version, only four basic templates and 41 designs are available, though Google is actively soliciting feedback from beta testers on its site.

Analysts have speculated that Google will eventually produce a suite of Web-based software to compete with Microsoft Office, or a currency system to compete with PayPal, a division of eBay (nasdaq: EBAY - news - people). While Google has said that Page Creator will not offer e-commerce capabilities, the product does compete directly with Microsoft's FrontPage software. However, that piece of software is currently being phased-out by Microsoft and will be gone by the time Office 2007 arrives. The beta version of Microsoft's Office Live contains a Web page hosting service.