Google, already the world’s most popular spot for searching Web sites, is aiming to become the go-to place for creating Web sites too.
With only a few clicks, just about anyone will be able to quickly set up and update a Web site featuring wide an array of material, including pictures, calendars and video from Google Inc.’s YouTube subsidiary, said Dave Girouard, general manager of the division overseeing the new application.
“We are literally adding an edit button to the Web,” Girouard said.
All sites created on the service will run on one of Google’s computers.
Google acquired many of the Web-site tools when it bought a Silicon Valley startup, JotSpot, last year.
The tools are the latest addition to a bundle of applications that Google offers to consumers and businesses as alternatives to similar products sold by Microsoft Corp., one of Google’s fiercest rivals.
Google’s latest service represents a challenge to Microsoft’s SharePoint, which charges licensing fees. Google is unveiling its alternative just a few days before Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft hosts a SharePoint conference in Seattle.
While Microsoft’s programs typically are installed on individual computers, Google keeps its application on its own machines so users can access them from anywhere with an Internet connection.
By gradually introducing free versions of word processing, spreadsheet, and calendaring programs over the past two years, Google has been threatening to siphon revenue away from Microsoft, which makes most of its money from software sales.
Microsoft, in turn, hopes to take a bite of out Google’s bread-and-butter in online search and advertising by buying Yahoo Inc. for more than $40 billion.
Google says more than 500,000 companies, government agencies and schools use at least some of its applications. The company won’t say how many of those organizations subscribe to a premium version of its software suite, but the fees haven’t made much of a dent at Google so far.
Last year, Google’s software licensing and other products generated $181 million in revenue while $16.4 billion poured in from advertising.
Quick Facts about Google’s Sites
Single-click page creation
Creating a new page for your Google Site just takes the click of a button.
No HTML required
Creating a Google Site is as easy as editing a document, which means there’s no markup language for you to learn — just get started.
Make it your own
Our customization options let you give your Google Site your own look and feel
Get started with templates
We offer a growing list of page types — web page, announcements, file cabinet, dashboard and list — to help you get started with your Google Sites pages.
Upload files and attachments
Use the file cabinet to upload files up to 10MB in size. Each Google Apps account receives at least 10GB of storage in Google Sites. Google Apps Premier and Education editions get an additional 500MB for each user account.
Embed rich content
Google Sites is integrated with other Google products, so you can insert videos, docs, spreadsheets, presentations, photo slide shows, and calendars directly onto your Google Sites pages.
Work together and share
Our permission settings let you designate owners, viewers and collaborators (meaning they can edit pages) for your site. And you can make your Google Sites available to just a few people, your entire organization, or the world.
Search with Google
You can search across Google Sites pages and content using powerful Google search technology. You’ll find specific pages and documents instantly, the same way you would on Google.com.
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