Bing looks lovely with its crisp, photographic backgrounds: Rolling vistas and pictures of cute woodland creatures seamlessly blend into landscape shots of solar panel arrays (eh?) at the click of a button.

Google, however, is positively bleak in comparison. A change of logo here and there, but essentially just an oblong search box in a big white square. Dependable, yes. Simple, undoubtedly. Boring, you betcha!

But times, they are a changing.

skin google s homepage with your own pics image 2

As of today, Google has introduced customisation to its homepage; you can now upload your own pic from your desktop or Picasa to form the background to the search engine. You can even use a pic from any public Picasa library.

And should you find yourself pining for the minimalist starkness of the original screen, it's a doddle to switch back and forth.

skin google s homepage with your own pics image 3

As revealed on the Google Blog by Marissa Mayer, vice president of Search Products & User Experience, the service is only available in the United States at present, but "for those of you outside of the US, you can expect to see this new feature in the coming days as we roll it out internationally to offer similar, consistent experiences globally".

She also encourages users to "tweet a picture of your page with the hashtag #myGooglepage and share it with us!" But considering what we imagine will happen with a fair number of homepages, that might not be the best of ideas.

Let us know what pic you plan to skin your Google homepage with...