Yahoo on Thursday began a promised homepage makeover intended to revitalize its popular but financially stumbling website.
The pioneering California Internet firm is letting randomly chosen users in Britain, France, India and the United States test a "next generation design" of a homepage used by more than 400,000 people worldwide.
"We're working on a new homepage that will help you get more out of the Internet, make more of your precious time, and make sense of all the things going on in your world," Yahoo vice president of Front Doors said in an online posting.
Yahoo seeks feedback on the redesign before rolling it out to all users in coming months.
The new look is part of a website overhaul that includes opening the platform so users can plug-in mini applications created by outside software developers.
The revamped Yahoo homepage has a "dashboard area" featuring tools for people to check weather forecasts, local events, and Web-based email accounts from Yahoo, Google and AOL without leaving the website.
Yahoo claims more than 500 million users worldwide but has been struggling to cash-in on its popularity.
Yahoo's sagging fortunes and Google's ascension as Internet advertising king prompted Microsoft on Jan 31 to offer to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion in a half-cash, half-stock deal.
Microsoft was eager to combine online resources with Yahoo in order to better battle Google.
Microsoft walked away from negotiations May 3 after Yahoo rejected an offer it raised from $31 to $33 per share, which amounted to $47.5 billion.
Yahoo subsequently made a deal with Google to put its online advertising expertise to work on Yahoo websites. That deal is to take effect later this year if it passes muster with U.S. anti-trust regulators.© Wire reports