Google to offer free application downloads

By Derek Sooman on January 9, 2006, 2:36 PM
Google continues to expand into new services; its now been revealed that the search engine giant is to provide the "Google Pack" a free bundle of tools from Google and other vendors designed to provide a broad set of functions for new computer users. What in the pack? Well, the usual suspects, really: Google Earth, Google Desktop, Google Talk, as well as a 'Pack Screensaver' which allows a user to view their photographs either as a collage or in full screen. There are also some third party goodies in there as well, including 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.

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.

User Comments: 18

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exscind said:
This bundle will be useful to the lesser experienced users because it does provide quite a few softwares with 1 download. But for anybody a notch above the "lesser experienced," this is probably useless. Because really, the only "good" softwares are probably Adobe and Ad-Aware. You can download free anti-virus programs, and Google Talk is not nearly as occupied as AIM or MSN Messenger.It seems like Google is just trying to spread Google Desktop and Google Talk around in hopes of grabbing market shares away from the competitors. While the bundle would be nice for the newer users, it hardly seems a good offer for those who knows remotely what they're doing.
Phantasm66 said:
That's a good post.
vigilante said:
Na, I'll pass on that. Especially NAV 2005 :0I've not tried Google talk, but programs like Skype are crazy good right now for voice.Not sure what the purpose of G-Earth is, haven't bothered to try it.Used Google Desktop once, couldn't stand it, removed it.But hey, that's just me.
Eleventeen said:
Hmm, this will be good for some people, others may reject it in an instant. I might go both ways on this. If I install a new copy of Windows then all I would have to do is download this bundle, just to get me started. The things I really don't care for in this is the Google Desktop and Norton antivirus. Probably Google Talk too. On the other hand, the rest of the software I think I would put good use to. Google Earth is simply incredible, looking at places around the world and such. Ad-Aware and Adobe Reader is a must for me. I always have to have something that can read those PDF's, and it's always good to be safe with Ad-Aware. Overall, I think this is a pretty good move from Google.
exscind said:
[b]Originally posted by vigilante:[/b][quote]I've not tried Google talk, but programs like Skype are crazy good right now for voice.Not sure what the purpose of G-Earth is, haven't bothered to try it.[/quote]Skype is definitely better than AIM or MSN Messenger for VOIP purposes. But in terms of messenging and texting people online, AIM and MSN Messenger is still more popular. They're not better than Skype, but more popular. And there's little point in using a program for instant messenging if nobody else uses that program.Google Earth is like a globe for you to use. You can type in addresses and it will take you there for a topographic view (you can change viewing angles). It's not useful for most people, to say the least. Moreover, many of the satellite images for the topographic views are outdated and not "live."
asphix said:
The goodies bundled with it make it really interesting. THe other stuff I dont really care for as I wont ever use them as often.It almost seems like Google is trying to gain exposure by releasing this pack and bundling things people may be looking for along with their products.I hardly use any IM anymore, but when I did I was a big fan of AIM because of the simplicity of the interface. I also use MSN simply because it creates an easy portal to my e-mail. If Microsofts plans for creating a huge infrastructure between computer, the livingroom and practically every other facet of your life I suspect MSN messanger might gain even more popularity. A quick glimpse of this is their plans to make a Media Center PC controllable remotely through MSN Messanger.Google is stepping it into high gear, and with the competition doing the same we're in for some interesting products and solutions to be unveiled in the future.
spike said:
ok - I can't believe for a moment that google doesn't use it's own search engine.they've struck a deal to bundle Norton. Google is now officially EVIL.
PUTALE said:
i think besides few good products such as norton, most of the program that's bundled is actually free for download:). Though I guess it's nice to have a all-in-one package that serves most of our needds.
fury said:
Looks like Google is racing against Microsoft in the battle to take over the world.
spike said:
PML. Norton is NOT GOOD - simple as that.Note the difference between thhe editors rating (hype) vs the users rating (reality) on the following link... [url],1759,1646457,00.asp[/ur
]and again here... [url]
7-30998882.html[/url]and one more (only user rating here)... [url],39029565,400
3721,00.htm[/url]Summary - Norton (for home users most certainly) is a piece of crap that often does more harm than good, and takes your hard earned cash for the privelige
nathanskywalker said:
I have tried part of that....might try again later..but norton antivi is just not my fave.
zachig said:
Everyday I'm amazed by another great step/progress of Google. I absolutely like what they do!!!
Vaerilis said:
All I can say is: great!Firefox and Ad-aware mean less spyware and less problems for those new to the internet. Norton AntiVirus may not be the best program in its class, but it's functional. Personally, I've never had any problems with it, but I don't keep it running in the background all the time, either.The pack is a great idea beause it merges useful programs with Google's merchandise (Google Earth, Toolbar, Picasa...). I think that it will be a great success among entry-level users.
otmakus said:
So Google includes Firefox in the bundle, I wonder how Microsoft would react to that, maybe they will include a search engine in Windows Vista.Then again, why did Google choose Norton as their antivirus solution? They could just choose free and much better antivirus. I guess those people in Google never read RBS's "sweet talk" on Norton Anti Virus.[url]
20[/url] entry #37. Must be one of the best forum entries in Techspot.
spike said:
Somone please place "Norton" in the swear censor, to be replaces with "Norton (piece of crap)". I know, hardly original, but I'm sick to the back teeth of people recommending such rubbish on a tech site where most of those in the know, or most of those with common sense are having to tell people how bad it really is constantly, and are none the less ignored by those who are gullible enough.
mentaljedi said:
THis is very good for the people who just want to download everything in one go. I mean, i would just love to have a program that seraches your computer and downloads all the nexessarry updates with a touch of a button automatically... but there istn't. Bundled stuff is probably the closest we get to the all in one thing. Personally, i like everything except for Norton. They should have put Ad-aware or Mcafee instead.
spike said:
ad-aware is available by customising the pack, and norton can be taken out.However, ad-aware ISN'T an AV. I sent them an email recommending they include AVG - got an automated response saying that they review emails but don't reply personally.
MonkeyMan said:
Google is expanding at a very fast pace, and soon, from a previous post, they will be making PC's in my opinion. I only hope Microsoft backs them on this move. But anyway, I love you Google, and keep proving products for me, and consumers!!!!!!!
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