What is Google Pack besides free Windows software, with some promotional offers, that you could get from many places on the Web? A software distribution mechanism hooked into Google's infrastructure. Smart move. Google does software provisioning for the masses...for starters--OpenOffice may come soon to the Pack. Larry Page introduces the software and then Robin Williams comes on stage to entertain the crowd.
From the Web site:
Google Pack also takes the hassle out of downloading, installing, and updating software. You can download and install the entire Google Pack in just a few clicks. And the included Google Updater helps you discover new programs and keep your current software up to date.What is the Google Updater?
The Google Updater is the program that downloads and installs all the software in the Google Pack. You can use the Google Updater to monitor the status of your installation, run software that's been installed, or uninstall software. A Google Updater icon will appear in your system tray and will display notifications when there are updates or new software available.
Google Software Included
- Google Earth - 3D Earth browser
- Picasa - Photo organizer
- Google Desktop
- Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer
- Google Pack Screensaver
Additional Software Included
- Mozilla Firefox with Google Toolbar
- Ad-Aware SE Personal - Antispyware utility
- Norton Antivirus 2005 Special Edition - Antivirus utility
- Adobe Reader 7 - PDF reader
Google watcher John Battelle comments on Google Pack:
Google Pack strikes me as an obvious play for Google, the company has made no secret of its intention to poke Microsoft in the eye from time to time. And honestly, they are right - setting up and maintaining a PC is a right pain in the ass. I very much hope this thing works, and plan to try it out on a new PC Federated Media is buying this week. (More on Pack here at SEW).
I spoke to Marissa Mayer about Pack, and she had some fun stuff to say about it. I noticed no version of Open Office in the Pack, and she reminded me this is just the first version of the Pack, and since it updates itself automatically, why, there might be Open Office in an update shortly. They are in active discussions, I was told.
Pack, if it becomes popular, will bring a whole new set of users to Google, mainly because it includes Toolbar and Desktop, which of course means more searches, and more data, and more money for Google.
"We realize software distribution will have to become one of our core competencies," Mayer told me.
"Some of (the applications in Pack) will result in increased revenue to us," she also noted.
Well, I asked, might you ever include Microsoft products in a Google Pack? "If they are interested," the ever on her feet Mayer responded, "we'd be more than willing to discuss it with them." Over to you, Mr. Ballmer....