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Google abandons experiment, gives riled users their spartan home page back

June 10, 2010 | 12:17 pm

On Wednesday night Google radically departed from its minimalist look, filling all of that white space with colorful full-screen photographs, much to the consternation of some users who started searching “remove Google background.”

Googlehomepage Google got the message and zapped the gallery of professional background images, wiping the screen clean and returning to its spartan aesthetic Thursday morning. Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president for search products alerted the world in a tweet.

The retreat from Google-imposed images of flowery hippos and the like ended a short-lived experiment that mirrored Microsoft’s rival search engine, Bing, which features a colorful new photograph each day. Google's feature was mocked by Microsoft executives in Europe who quipped: “We've lost a background image, if found please return to ;).”'s Danny Sullivan joked: "i think it's really nice that for @bing's birthday, @google is honoring it by having a @bing-like photo background." Bing, in the meanwhile, is busy chasing Google.

The experiment was designed to promote a new feature released by Google last week that allows users to add their own background images, which it did, but probably not in the way the Internet giant intended. 

-- Jessica Guynn