Google moved into the Web page design market on Thursday by launching an online tool for publishing on the Internet.
Google Page Creator is currently in beta, like most Google products. The beta is only open to Google Mail account holders.
Page Creator has a WYSIWYG interface, and makes it simple for users to select fonts and colours or insert images or links. It is free to use, and includes up to 100MB of storage space. Once a page is created, it can be found at username.googlepages.com.
Google says that the tool doesn't require any technical knowledge, and "makes it easy for anyone to create and publish useful, attractive Web pages in just minutes".
"Want to create an online photo tour of your vacation to Bali? An overview of the South American precipitation cycle for your science class? A shrine to your pet ferret? Now's your chance," said Google in its FAQ page about Page Creator.
While Page Creator has the classically clean and easy-to-use Google interface, it does not offer a wide range of features. There is a choice of four different layouts and 41 different styles, which allows users to add items like a sidebar or a column.
The tool also appeared to be experiencing some teething problems on Thursday. At one point, the image resizing option was temporarily unavailable.
Justin Rosenstein, project manager for Page Creator, told Search Engine Watch that Google Page Creator is aimed at people who are interested in publishing a simple, relatively static Web site, whereas Blogger — which Google also owns — is designed for people who want to post frequently, with regularly changing content.Bloggers have already been speculating about where Page Creator falls within Google's overall strategy. Over on ZDNet.com, Richard MacManus predicted that it will eventually be part of a Web-based Office suite.