Kudos to Phil Lenssen of Google Blogoscoped – and a reader who emailed him – for pointing out that Dell is shipping PCs with a branded home page powered by Google’s customizable portal, an Ajax-driven feature not unlike Microsoft’s live.com or (my personal favourite) netvibes.com. The page has a toolbar at the top that features links to Dell services, as well as boxes of Dell content, but they can be moved around and other things can be added.
And the Dell page isn’t the only one out there: Someone commenting on the Blogoscoped post pointed out that Current Communications, which provides broadband over power lines, also has a custom page powered by Google, which owns a stake in Current. The next question, of course, is so what?
Paul Kedrosky might be right when he says that the home page venture could be as significant as the Google software pack, but as one poster on Paul’s blog noted, trying to take control of the home page is so 1990’s. Does it even matter any more? Perhaps. In any case, it’s an interesting move – and Steve Rubel is right, someone should be writing about this (other than me, that is).