Google apps coming to a flash drive near you

Tools like Desktop Search will be available on Lexar flash drives as Google chases its dream of ubiquity

Google took another step towards making its products available everywhere on Tuesday when it announced that some applications, including its popular Picasa photo software, will soon be available on USB flash drives.

Picasa, Google Toolbar and Desktop Search applications will come ready-installed on Lexar Media's range of flash drives from January 2006.

"While these popular applications have traditionally been available on the Web directly from Google... offering them on a Lexar JumpDrive provides a new channel to reach customers," said Steffen Hellmold, vice president of USB flash drives at Lexar, in a statement.

Customers who purchase a Lexar JumpDrive simply have to plug the device into the USB port on their computer, where the user will be prompted with instructions to easily install the free applications, the company said. If the user accepts installation, Google products automatically install to their computer and are then removed from the USB flash drive.

"We're excited to make it possible for people to easily search the documents, photos, music and video they store on their Lexar JumpDrives and computer hard drives as well as to find information on the Internet," said Marissa Mayer, Google's vice-president for search products.

Lexar's flash drives start at £39 (£22) for a 128MB, rising to $179 for the 2GB model.

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