igHome gives displaced iGoogle users a familiar home

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A couple months back I suggested three alternatives to iGoogle, the popular personalized Google home page that's scheduled to be switched off about a year from now.

Lots and lots of users weighed in with their thoughts on iGoogle's demise and their own suggestions for alternatives -- which led me to post two more alternatives to iGoogle about a week later.

That entry drew a lot of discussion as well, though the overall concensus among users is that there's nothing out there that really matches the simple, understated appeal of iGoogle.

Maybe now there is: igHome is a personalized home page that bears more than a passing resemblance to early-day iGoogle.

In other words, it's a home page you can customize with a variety of feeds and gadgets, arranging them all to your liking. You might have a news window here, a weather update there, a clock, a blog feed, and so on.

Developer Mike Sutton says his goal was "to create a site that looked and worked like iGoogle as much as possible to make the transition easy for users."

I'd say "mission accomplished," though keep in mind that igHome is a bit limited at this point. Available gadgets number in the dozens, not the thousands, and at present you can't customize the color scheme or overall layout of your page (which is set at three columns).

However, you can create multiple tabs, meaning you can divvy your content into categories if you wish. And igHome perfectly emulates Google's upper toolbar, providing handy one-click access to Gmail, Google Calendar, Maps, Docs, and so on. Of course there's a Google search bar as well.

If you're still shopping for an iGoogle replacement, you'll definitely want to give igHome a look. It's the closest thing I've seen to a "true" iGoogle surrogate so far.

Have you found a better one? Talk it up in the comments!

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.com, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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