Google has officially announced at CES a new product which it talked about in its Blog on 1st January. Google Pack is a software package intended to make installation and maintenance of essential applications easy.
Beneath the name is quite a simple idea, one that many will have wished for at one time or another. The Pack will install essential applications onto the user's PC, including Norton Antivirus 2005 SE, AdAware and Acrobat Reader. An updater is also included to ensure that all applications installed under the Google Pack are kept up to date.
There are a few Google-centric, and not exactly essential items in the pack, however. Google Earth, Picasa, Google Toolbar (including a Firefox version with the toolbar installed), Google Desktop and a Google Pack Screensaver are bundled too. Norton's Antivirus Package includes six months of free virus definition updates. It's interesting that a completely free virus scanner wasn't included instead. It's worth noting that Google has said neither they nor their partners in this have made of paid any money for inclusion in the Pack.
A few software items are missing from the pack by default (indeed, users can customise what they want to install if they so wish.) You can also include Real Player, Trillian and Gallery Player HD. Users can cut things from the install too.
While the choice of software and the default settings are, in our eyes at least, not quite ideal, we like the idea. It is certainly something which the tech savvy folks can recommend to their nearest and dearest when they are next met with the question: "what do I need to sort my computer out?"
Google.com :: Google Pack.