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Today homepage of Google Japan is renewed.
You can see some tabs such as Recomended, Various Search, Useful tools and more.
So you can directly access to gmail, youtube goolge news on the homepage.
Is this likely to happen to google.com?
Or is it only to google.co.jp?
Thank you for letting us know - that is a very interesting new layout. It's hard to predict what Google will do. They will probably be testing each layout according to its users and be deciding from there. If the new home page is very popular in Japan it could be tested in other countries.
Thanks for pointing out the change. It's also noted in the Google Japan Blog [googlejapan.blogspot.com] as well.
This new change reminds me somewhat of the animated Google Korea front page [webmasterworld.com] we saw introduced last year. Although the Japanese version lacks the pizazz of the Korean icons it appears that the purpose is similar. They're letting the local public know what they have on offer. In both the Korea and Japan markets Google is not the leader and they have more incentive to advertise their diverse service packages. The "I'm Feeling Lucky" button just doesn't convey that. ;)