Is Google taking a leaf out of Microsoft's book?
One of the nifty features of Bing is the Picture of the Day Microsoft has on the site's homepage. It brightens things up and though it does mean the page takes longer to load, Microsoft has said in the past that this decorative image loads last, while the search function loads first. In other words, it doesn't really affect speed at all. Now it looks like Google is looking to do something similar with it's famously minimalist homepage.
Google this week announced the ability for users to customise the homepage. You can choose an image from your computer, your Picasa albums or from the stock photos Google has on hand and replace all that white space with a nice sunset or a picture of your family.
Google is rolling out this feature to people in the U.S. over the next few days. If it's reached you, you should see a link in the lower left corner of your screen. However, I'm in Canada and already have it when I visit Google.com so you may get lucky too.
No word on how this is going to work with Google Doodles as the Google logo actually changes depending on which wallpaper you use (at least, it does when you use one of Google's stock photos). If it comes to picking between a picture of my cat and Pacman, I know what my decision will be. Sorry, Cujo.