Google Toolbar Beta Bends for Users

The search giant has revamped its browser-based tools, promising greatly expanded customization features and an enterprise version of the software.

Search giant Google has released a beta version of its next-generation browser tool bar application, adding a version of the technology aimed specifically at enterprise customers and promising improved customization throughout the product.

Dubbed Google Toolbar 4, the test version of the browser-borne application boasts new capabilities that include the ability for users to create specific buttons for individual searches, and improved tools for saving Web page bookmarks and forwarding search results to others.

The revamped tool bar also allows users of Googles other applications, including its Gmail online e-mail service, to sign into their accounts directly from their browser.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read more about the enterprise version of Google Toolbar.

The beta version of the tool bar has only been made available to users of Microsofts Internet Explorer browsers and Windows operating systems, but the company said it is planning a version of the software for Mozilla Foundations Firefox browser in the near future.

The business-oriented version of the beta, Google Toolbar for Enterprise, offers the same features but adds administration and management features for distributing the application within an organization, as well as tools for integrating the tool bar with corporate intranets and Web sites.

In related news, PC maker Dell confirmed that it is working with Google to test pre-loading the tool bar application onto its devices.

While offering few details, Dell officials said the company is testing further integration with the tool bar and Google desktop search, while also considering a revamp of its Internet home page that features the search giants technologies.

/zimages/2/28571.gifSome search startups show signs of challenging Google. Read more here.

The arrangement with Dell follows Googles recent announcement that it has partnered with storage market leader EMC to include a version of its Google Desktop for Enterprise application in EMCs Documentum Enterprise Content Integration Services product line, which offers corporate content management capabilities.

Using the new create-your-own button feature, users are promised the option of querying specific Web sites directly from Google Toolbar 4 simply by right-clicking on a sites own search engine and adding a new tab inside the application.

The system was also designed to allow site owners and other content publishers to add buttons for certain search terms to their Web sites, which users of the tool bar can add to their browsers.

Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., is offering an API to permit such providers to integrate the tool with their sites, and has posted a gallery of buttons already built by various content publishers.

For bookmarks, Google has added the ability for tool bar users to save Web links found during their search activities. The company has also revamped its interface to suggest terms as users are typing Web queries, correct potential misspellings and highlight previously retrieved search results.

Google also augmented the tool bars collaborative reach, adding new features for sharing search results or specific Web pages with others via the ability to forward the information using e-mail or text messages for mobile devices.

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