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Google Pack launched

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

Last Friday, Google officially launched Google Pack.  This is essentially a bundling of a whole load of Google sofware (Toolbar, Picasa, Desktop, Talk, Earth, and Screensaver) along with bits and pieces of non-Google software (Firefox, Norton Antivirus, Ad-Aware, Trillian, Adobe Reader, RealPlayer, and some GalleryPlayer HD images).  These all come with the Google Pack software, so that through one manager all of the programs are downloaded, installed, and kept up to date.  It’s quite a good idea, and makes owning the internet essentials – and keeping them updated – easy for even the most basic internet user.

More than this, though, it puts Google in a unique position.  Presumably, when they release new software – be that Web Accelerator, or some form of Office software, or whatever – Google Pack will present the user with some kind of a pop-up window, asking if they’d like to install this new, free software.  And a lot of people will just click ‘yes’, and Google Pack will go away and get it all installed for you.  Hence, take up of Google software, and therefore Google’s prescence on the desktop, increases.

It also allows Google to form strategic partnerships with any number of companies – what agreement was necessary for RealPlayer, for example, to be installed by default for everyone who downloads Google Pack?  Google could make an absolute fortune through this – as long as enough people download Google Pack, which they almost certainly will since it provides such a good package, Google has a hand-hold on millions of users’ desktops. And the user can be assured that they will always have the best software, fully updated, free of charge.

It is, quite simply, everything Windows Update could have been, if Microsoft had a bit more nous.

This post was filed under: Technology.

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