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October 4, 2006, 3:14 am
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Google offers mini-programs for use on other sites
Tue Oct 3, 2006 10:01 PM EDT
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By Eric Auchard
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc. said on Tuesday it is making it
easier to add hundreds of miniature programs to independent Web sites,
in a move that brings handy features to users instead of making users
rely on Google.com.
The Web search leader has jumped ahead of rivals -- such as Apple
Computer Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. -- who offer mini-applets
or "gadgets" when the user has installed special software on individual
Google Gadgets, which have previously been available for users to add
to a Web user's personalized Google homepage or their own computers via
Google Desktop software, are now available for Web page owners to add
to their own sites.
"Instead of making people come to Google, now Google can be found
everywhere," Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li said of the push to
make such programs available via other sites.
Web site publishers can choose from a gallery of 1,220 so-called
"Google Gadgets" -- small bits of code that function as dynamic
applications when installed on a Web page. Less than two dozen of the
applications come from Google. Most are built by outside programmers
seeking distribution for the programs.
Google Gadgets range from a miniature look-up for Google Maps or Google
Calendar to independent applications ranging from financial information
to sports to communication tools and jokes, horoscopes or geometric
puzzle game Tetris.
A list of Google Gadgets can be found at
To add a particular gadget to a Web page, users can with a few clicks
locate the HTML source code of the program and insert it into their own
Web sites using standard Web publishing tools.
"This is part of the movement to make the Web into a platform rather
than forcing users to rely on desktop software," Li said.
Google calls these new Web-based programs "Universal Gadgets" to
distinguish them from existing "Desktop Gadgets" designed to run only
on Google sites or on a user's own computer desktop.
Adam Sah, who carries the title Google Gadgets architect, said in an
interview. "Gadgets are easy to create so it's something (programmers)
can do in their spare time
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