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iGoogle personalises personal pages on other people's behalf

Erm, doesn't that kind of defeat the iPoint?

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Google has angered some of its personalised homepage users by running tests of an apparently unpopular experimental layout, and refusing to let them opt out or tell them how long the tests will last.

The firm announced the trials on its "Personalising Google" group pages on 8 July. To date, there are 579 overwhelmingly negative comments on the new design in the main discussion thread.

The redesigned iGoogle has been rolled out to a "small percentage" of users, according to "iGoogle Guide Paul", the discussion's admin. The biggest change is the addition of sidebar navigation, which commenters have described variously as "pointless", "redundant", "messy" and "crappy".

Alterations to the Gmail gadget that make it impossible to reply to emails directly from iGoogle have also attracted special ire.

The most vociferous rage is reserved for the unilateral way the experiment is being conducted however. "Tadeo's" response from Friday last week is typical: "Obviously nobody here is happy with the new iGoogle. The few replies to everyone's feedback that you have made have been short and superficial which is just absolutely insulting, even Microsoft treats their customers better than this! I think I speak for many people here when I say it is time for some real answers."

But no answers have been forthcoming. In his last explanatory post on August 13, "Paul" wrote: "There's still no information to share about the length of the experiment. I can tell you that we're still gathering data. Beyond that, Google isn't sharing details about the experiment publicly."

Gosh, to read that it's almost as if iGoogle was always more about gathering data than anything else... ®

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