iGoogle has been available for some years. It was very popular around 2-3 years ago.
Users could create themes (create a header background image and modify the css of the page).
The most useful widgets were Gmail, Notes and RSS feeds. Other than these, iGoogle didn’t had any use. And of course, it was mostly a custom page for those that wanted more than to see the default Google index.
Why iGoogle failed? A few reasons
– iGoogle was a dead project that didn’t brought anything new in a long time.
– users stopped creating themes and widgets.
– without iGoogle, Google is promoting their default index page, strenghtening their brand.
Add your own reasons in the comments.
What I’ve noticed so far is that the Gmail link from the current default Google page doesn’t show any notice that you have any new e-mails.
We can’t set Gmail as the default page because then we will have to write the Google url or to click on a bookmark which is really annoying.
Is good that we have smartphones and tablets that are making sound notices when we receive a new e-mail.
Currently, to check our e-mail inbox from a browser, we now have to click on the Gmail link from the Google index.
I wouldn’t try to find any other websites that are providing an alternative UI for iGoogle. You might get your password stolen.