Google is for the first time promoting its Personalized Homepage on the google.com homepage, using football World Cup modules/widgets. There is a "New! Add World Cup live scores and schedules to this page" promo link directly under the search query box, which leads to a "Welcome to Your Google homepage. Make it your own" start page.
This is great to see and shows (once again) that Google is tackling Microsoft head-on in key market segments. Indeed earlier this evening Microsoft announced an upgrade to its personalized homepage, live.com (it will be released next week, but I have preview screenshots on my ZDNet blog). Also of course, the little startups are doing a lot in this market currently (Netvibes, Pageflakes, et al). See my post earlier this week - The Future of Personalized Start Pages - for my analysis on this.
Screenshots of the google.com promotion and World Cup modules below. Game on!
p.s. I can't wait for the World Cup to start! I'm a big fan of Brazil, they epitomize the Beautiful Game.