Google to offer free application downloads
By Steve Malone
Posted on 9 Jan 2006 at 10:43
Although overshadowed by the announcement of the Video service, Larry Page also announced the 'Google Pack' in Las Vegas. As rumoured, the Google Pack is a free bundle of tools from Google and other vendors designed to provide a broad set of functions for new computer users.
Naturally the pack includes a number of Google tools such as Earth, Desktop, Talk, Picasa - the toolbar for Internet Explorer - and a 'Pack Screensaver' which allows a user to view their own photographs either as a collage or in full screen.
The pack also includes a smattering of other software from third parties. These applications include the latest version of the Firefox open source browser with toolbar already fitted, the Adobe PDF Reader 7, the Ad-Aware SE Personal anti-spyware software, and a 'Norton AntiVirus 2005 Special Edition with a six month subscription to the update service. There is also an 'Updater' which will install new versions of each of the programs as they become available
There seem to have been some last minute additions that include Real Player and, surprisingly , the Trillian open-source chat client. These applications are not included in the initial bundle, but instead are available under the option to 'add and subtract' software.
While there is little that is new in the Google bundle, the company will clearly hope that by providing a set of 'essential' software it will tempt users of new machines to install a range of Google applications such as Talk and Earth and give a substantial kick to the market share in each of these areas. More interestingly is whether Google can persuade PC vendors to bundle the software on new machines and what Microsoft's reaction will be.
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