Google has just announced a new My Yahoo-like portal page, which they are calling a Personalized Google Homepage. It will be one place for users to access their Google search, news, Gmail, weather, stocks, driving directions, movies - and more. In the Google 'Factory Tour' webcast, Product Manager Marissa Mayer said they'll offer "Universal RSS support" for the Personalized Homepage within 1-2 months, meaning users will be able to add any RSS feed onto it.
Interesting that this comes out at the same time as Microsoft confirming it will integrate RSS across its MSN online services throughout the year. eWeek reports that in 2-3 weeks time MSN will release "a third version of Start, its Web-based aggregator prototype". This is a quote from Kyle Von Haden, an MSN program manager:
"This could easily be a home page, and you would not need to touch it".
Indeed... more updates on the Google and Microsoft stories as they develop.
My Initial Thoughts
One thing: why are all the bigco's so intent on building portals, when users are more and more using RSS Aggregators as their central means of access to Web content ('homepages' in Web 1.0 parlance)? The answer may be that the portal products of Google, MSN and Yahoo are, over time, turning into RSS Aggregators. Certainly MSN's start.com is heading in this direction - it remains to be seen whether Google's "personalized homepage" will do the same.