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.