Google has turned on its new picture background feature by default to its homepages around the world on Thursday.

The homepage feature, which has been available in the US for a week, and now in the UK, will be live for 24 hours on June 10 by default rather than optional.

Google is clearly hoping that the temporary default setting will encourage people to adopt the new feature and rid users of the now rather dull white background.

"To provide you with an extra bit of inspiration, we‘ve collaborated with several well-known artists, sculptors and photographers to create a gallery of background images you can use to personalize your Google homepage," says Google.

Included in the collection are photographs of the works of Dale Chihuly, Jeff Koons, Tom Otterness, Polly Apfelbaum, Kengo Kuma, Kwon, Ki-soo, and Tord Boontje, as well as some incredible photos from Yann Arthus-Bertrand and National Geographic, although you can of course add your own background image.

The move has already brought criticism from many that the search engine is merely copying Microsoft's Bing homepage, which, since its launch, constantly changes its homepage photo on a daily basis to reflect events around the world.

Interestingly we couldn't get it to work in Apple's new Safari 5.

What do you think of the new look Google homepage? Will you be adding your favourite image? Let us know in the comments below.