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Google News Roundup: Government Search, Googleplex Purchase
[June 15, 2006]

Google News Roundup: Government Search, Googleplex Purchase

TMCnet Associate Editor
 
Google (News - Alert) wants to be your one-stop shop for information about the U.S. government, the company announced today. To accomplish that, Google launched a new online tool, Google U.S. Government Search.
 
The new site is a customizable portal that provides centralized search for content across official government sites, along with a directory of government-related news. Users can customize the site with RSS feeds to pull in news from other sources.

 
The index used for government searches on Google’s new portal includes “U.S. federal, state and local sites with domains such as .gov, .mil as well as select government sites with .com, .us, and .edu domains (eg. .usps.com, .ca.us and ndu.edu),” the company said in a press release.
 
Google U.S. Government Search is targeted to federal employees who rely heavily on government websites, an Associated Press report said.
 
The report noted that Google’s new portal can be viewed as a competitor to MSN-powered Firstgov.gov, although Google claims the two sites are complementary not competitive.
 
Google Becomes a “Homeowner”
 
In related news, Associated Press reported yesterday that Google has decided to purchase its Silicon Valley headquarters, which the company has been renting since 2003.
 
The buildings collectively known as “Googleplex”—which collectively contain 1 million square feet of space—reportedly will be purchased for $319 million, from four commercial real estate companies.
 
Documents related to the sale were filed June 14 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. (The filings are accessible here and here.)
 
AP reports that Google hopes to close the sale by month’s end, but is awaiting approval from a both the city of Mountain View (which holds leases on the land) and a bankruptcy court (due to contractual agreements with Googleplex’s former tenants, Silicon Graphics, Inc.)
 
News Review
 
The past fortnight has been a busy one for news from Google. Today’s report comes on the heels of announcements from Google regarding its new spreadsheet program and the impact that may have, updates to the company’s Earth and Maps products, a rethinking of its China policy, and the launches of a browser synchronization application and a Shakepeare-themed site.
 
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Mae Kowalke previously wrote for Cleveland Magazine in Ohio and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. To see more of her articles, please visit Mae Kowalke’s columnist page.
 

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