Google Adds Portal Features

NEW YORK Google said it would let users customize their Google page, adding links to Google services and Web content.

The feature, called Fusion, is available in the Google Labs section (labs.google.com), where Google tests products before their official launch. Users can add news headlines from publications like The New York Times and BBC, previews of their Gmail e-mail, weather updates, driving directions and other information.

The move marks a departure for Google, which has maintained a bare-bones home page, unlike the features-heavy pages of rivals Yahoo and MSN. Fusion users can revert to the minimalist search page through a “classic” link.

The customized Google page does not carry advertising for now, but a Google representative said the company might do so in the future.