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Google killing 'I'm Feeling Lucky' button?

A homepage for Google Finland appears, sans the iconic "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. Could this be the end of the road for the search of fortune?

Are there things you used to do in the 1990s but just don't do any more? I'm thinking admiring Britney Spears. I'm thinking investing in tech stocks. I'm thinking clicking on Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.

This is an important question today, as a stunning and, frankly, revolutionary development in search has been spotted in Finland.

The remarkable sleuths at Google Operating System espied a Google home page without the "I'm Feeling Lucky" exhortation.

Naturally, Google, being a company that loves to examine every shade of blue that exists to the naked eye, is prone to releasing many different ideas for its rigorous (some would say insane) testing procedures.

But the mere fact that the company might cease to ride its luck is surely a difficult day for those with feelings and memory.

Google Operating System

Steven Levy's book, "In The Plex," describes how the button was first created as an expression of Google's supreme confidence that its search results--just one search result--would be superior to that of any other engine.

It might well be that no one actually uses the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button any more, perhaps because so few people in the world actually feel lucky these days.

Still, through the years, the button has served as not merely an example of Google's confidence, but of its essential quirkiness, one that is sometimes sadly buried beneath the company's excessively engineering bent.

Indeed, Google's Marissa Mayer was once heard by Marketplace as explaining: "You know Larry and Sergey had the view, and I certainly share it, that it's possible just to become too dry, too corporate, too much about making money. And you know what I think is really delightful about Google and about the 'I'm Feeling Lucky', is that they remind you that the people here have personality and that they have interests and that there is real people."

So surely Google wouldn't want everyone to suddenly think that no one at Google has personality any more?

New CEO Larry Page wouldn't want you to think that? Would he?