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The Top Five Google Rumors

Google is subject to more rumors than Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston -- and most of them are most certainly false. Here's a quick rundown on some of the more baseless and outrageous rumors, as well as some that might prove to be true.
My personal favorite rumor is that Google will soon put ads on its front page. The evidence? There are currently ads running on the Belarus version of Google. There's only one problem with that rumor: There is no Belarus version of Google. It's a pirate site, and Google is trying to shut it down.

The current biggie is the Google/Wal-Mart PC. Google PR honcho David Krane says that one is false, and adds that the rumor about Google network "cubes" for the home are false as well.

The rumored Google attempt to create a national, free Wi-Fi network continues to percolate. This one, though, might actually be true. I don't expect Google to blanket the entire country, but don't be surprised by a network in targeted cities. Certainly, the Google bid to provide Wi-Fi for San Francisco is a piece of evidence.

Then there's the rumor that Google will launch an Internet-based competitor to Microsoft Office. I wouldn't discount this one. Don't expect a full-blown suite, but also don't be surprised to see a word processor and calendar that links to Gmail.

Here's an intriguing one I came across recently: Google will launch an online video rental service. A sharp-eyed observer noted that the Google Video site's terms of conditions mentions "the sale or rental of copies of" videos. This one wouldn't surprise me at all.