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Google Finance, a financial beauty

Another week, another launch. The Google versus Microsoft versus Yahoo war gets heated even more, writes Puneet Mehrotra.

business Updated: Mar 22, 2006 20:26 IST

Another week, another launch. The Google versus Microsoft versus Yahoo war gets heated even more. This week Google has launched Google Finance to compete against Yahoo and MSN's financial service offerings. A move that sparks fresh competition for Microsoft and Yahoo, Google Finance lets users search for stocks and mutual funds and displays company information, news stories and interactive charts. Users can also track the performance of stocks they own.

Google Finance

According to Google, Google Finance is an early beta product that offers a broad range of information about North American stocks, mutual funds and public and private companies along with charts, news and fundamental financial data.

Google Finance is equipped with stock charts, news and chatrooms, just like the most appreciated finance site on web, Yahoo Finance, the Google finance site is much improved than the Yahoo finance.

How is Google Finance different from existing financial websites?

Google Finance offers an easier way to search for stocks, mutual funds, public and private companies. Further, Google Finance also offers a broad range of company news and information in order to deliver more relevant, unbiased results in a clean, uncluttered user interface.

Here are some specific Google Finance features:

* Company Search - With Google Finance you can search for stocks, mutual funds, public and private companies, using both company names and (where available) ticker symbols.

* Interactive Charts - Google Finance charts correlate market data with corresponding dated news stories to help you determine if there is a relationship between them (for instance, by seeing news stories that came out about a certain company in the context of what that company's stock did that day). You can also click and drag the charts to see different time periods and zoom in to see more detailed information.

* News and More News - Google Finance incorporates our Google News service, which gathers stories from more than 4,500 English news sources worldwide. Stories are clustered by topic so you can see different opinions on a single subject; you can also review news stories by monthly date range and by importance (which is determined by algorithms).

* Blogs - If you want the opinions of citizen journalists, you got 'em; Google Finance includes company-related postings from Google Blog Search.

* Company Management Team - Google Finance helps you put a face to a name. Mousing over an executive name shows you their picture as well as links, where available, to their biography, compensation details and trading activity.

* Discussion Groups - Talk amongst yourselves. Google Finance offers high-quality Discussion Groups whose dedicated team of moderators work to keep conversations on and spam-free.

·Portfolios - Google Finance offers a fast, easy and powerful way to keep create and maintain your portfolio of stocks and mutual funds.

The Magic of Ajax

Just last week I had written every application of Google is almost a piece of art. Unlike its giant competitor Google applications have always been low on resource consumption. Their functionality have been super setting standards unknown to the industry before. Whether Google has exploited AJAX for some of its most eye-popping services such as GMail and Google Maps isn't really important to the user. What matters is functionality and the delivery factor of Google is super.

In Google Finance too it has come up with great improvements. Google Finance like other Google applications uses the "AJAX" feature, a technology which lets you zoom in to selected date periods with your mouse that Google has used with great effect in Google Maps. For more detailed research for example if you are wondering why a particular stock had risen or dropped in a certain period of time there will be an icon on a stock chart that you can click, which takes you to news stories on that particular date.

Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president says "We feel this is going to change the face of finance sites." Marissa I completely agree with you, whatever Google does it does superbly. Google Finance comes under the same category. Well done Google.

Puneet Mehrotra is a web strategist at www.cyberzest.com and editswww.thebusinessedition.comyou can email him on puneet@cyberzest.com