Google, already the world's most popular spot for finding Websites, is aiming to become the go-to place for creating Web sites too.
The Mountain View-based company is taking its first step toward that goal Thursday with the debut of a free service designed for high-tech neophytes looking for a simple way to share information with other people working in the same company or attending the same class in school.
With only a few clicks, just about anyone will be able to quickly set up and update a Web site featuring a wide array of material, including pictures, calendars and video from Google Inc.'s YouTube subsidiary, said Dave Girouard, general manager of the division overseeing the new application.
"We are literally adding an edit button to the Web," Girouard said.
All sites created on the service will run on one of Google's computers.
Google acquired many of the Web-site tools when it bought a Silicon Valley startup, JotSpot, last year.
The tools are the latest addition to a bundle of applications that Google offers to consumers and businesses as alternatives to similar products sold by Microsoft Corp., one of Google's fiercest rivals.
Google's latest service represents a challenge to Microsoft's SharePoint, which charges licensing fees. Google is unveiling its alternative just a few days before Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft hosts a SharePoint conference in Seattle.
Google, Website, Web Development, Business