Google has offered to assist online encyclopedia Wikipedia, by providing some much needed storage and hosting services to the giant non-profit site. Although terms of the upcoming arrangement have yet to be finalized, Wikimedia commented that any deal will still see Wikipedia remaining ad-free; meaning that the arrangement will not impose Google "AdSense" technology on the popular site. An administrator for the Wikipedia project spoke briefly about the pending agreement:
"Google has at least tentatively agreed to give us access to a certain number of dual Xeon servers at one or more of their data centers and with unlimited bandwidth. I've been told that there are no strings attached, meaning they don't expect us to do anything for then, such as having Google Ads. In short, this is wonderful news... In addition to taking a lot of work, there is barely ever enough money to run what will shortly become one of the top 100 websites on the internet, and the only thing limiting Wikipedia's growth is hardware."
One would think that we will see a closer relationship develop between Google Search and the access of Wikipedia entries. Recently Microsoft finalized its new and improved MSN Search tool, allowing direct access to its Encarta encyclopedia. Another major search engine, Yahoo, offers visitors directed access to the Columbia Encyclopedia. Details of the final arrangement, including changes to either site, should be made available sometime in March.