Google home page bug strikes again

Google’s renamed and upgraded Personalised Home Page product launched this week, has not been able to shake off a persistent bug that has affected users.

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Google’s renamed and upgraded Personalised Home Page product launched this week, has not been able to shake off a persistent bug that has affected users.

The glitch causes the free service, which lets users turn Google.com into a customised portal, to revert some pages to their default settings or to months-old versions.

The problem rattled users who spend significant time and effort tailoring their Google.com page with syndicated content feeds, as well as with "gadget" applications, to make it their hub for Web content, online services and applications.

A source familiar with the issue said the bug affected "a single digit percentage" of users of this service, which company officials have said has "tens of millions" of users. This means that the number of affected users could range from a minimum of 200,000 to several million.

Last weekend, reports kept flowing into discussion forums of users saying the fix hadn't reached their pages, and continued throughout Monday, even as Google's Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience, hosted journalists in the company's headquarters to unveil the improvements to the service, now called iGoogle.

At the time, it seemed that the users still complaining had been affected by Thursday's bug, and that it would be a matter of time until Google rolled the fix to their pages.

However, on Tuesday morning, as the volume of complaints in discussion forums increased significantly, with a new wave users reporting the problem for the first time, it became apparent that the bug had cropped up again and was affecting an entirely different batch of iGoogle pages.

The problem is now solved, according to a Google spokeswoman. "A number of Google users had difficulty accessing their settings and preferences on their iGoogle pages over the past day," she wrote via e-mail. "Users should have their iGoogle pages restored at this time."

Google, a major driver of Web-hosted applications and services, has been hit with a number of bugs and availability problems in recent months for services such as the Blogger blog hosting and publishing service and the Gmail portion of the Google Apps suite of communication and collaboration software for organisations.

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