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Google Pack is a software package that allows users to discover, install, and maintain a number of application programs. It was announced at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show, on January 6. Google Pack is currently only available for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.
Users can choose which of the following software applications to install. If the application is already installed, Google Updater checks to see if the user has the latest version and upgrades it, if necessary.
The software applications available vary based on which language and locale is selected, and operating system. The U.S. Windows XP version of Google Pack offers all of the current applications listed below.
- Google Desktop
- Picasa, a photograph organizer and editor
- Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer
- Google Photos Screensaver, which displays pictures from the user's computers
- Google Earth, an electronic globe
- Google Talk, an instant messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) application
- Google Video Player, a multi-media player, now withdrawn
- Google Chrome, a free web browser developed by Google
- Mozilla Firefox with Google Toolbar
- Spyware Doctor Starter Edition
- Adobe Reader, a document viewer
- RealPlayer, a multi-media player
- Skype, a VoIP application
On March 27, 2007, Google added two new applications to the Google Pack: Spyware Doctor Starter Edition and Norton Security Scan. These programs are free and do not require subscription, unlike Norton AntiVirus. However, Norton Security Scan does not offer continuous protection against viruses. Norton Security Scan scans the computer and identifies if there are existing viruses, worms, spyware, unwanted adware or Trojans residing on it. The program's functionality is similar to Microsoft's Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.
Google says that they have no monetary agreement with the makers of the above software, and that they offer the applications for the ease of Google's customers, and do not receive payment, although Miguel Helft in his New York Times blog reported that an unidentified source stated that Google may pay Sun for each copy of StarOffice. As of November 2008[update], StarOffice is no longer part of Google Pack.
Google has included the VoIP application Skype in the pack, even though it is a competitor of Google's own Google Talk.
Some industry observers claimed that the release was little more than a collection of software "that Google's wrapped a rubber band around".
- Norton Antivirus Special Edition 2005, which included a 6-month subscription
- Norton Security Scan
- StarOffice, a productivity suite that includes a word processor and spreadsheet
Google Pack comes with Google Updater as a package management system to assist in downloading, installing, removing and automatically updating the Pack's applications. Updater can be uninstalled without removing the applications.
Google Updater may not reflect the most recent versions of all Google Pack programs. For example, as of January 2008[update], StarOffice 8 Update 9 was not provided through Google Updater, which displays no indication that previous versions are out of date. Sun Microsystems released Update 9, which includes six security related fixes, on December 10, 2007.
- ↑ Google Pack
- ↑ Google Pack cures the PC Blues, March 27th, 2007
- ↑ "What is Norton Security Scan?". http://service1.symantec.com/Support/sharedtech.nsf/docid/2007031405260913?Open&docid=20070316120920934&nsf=SUPPORT%5CINTER%5Csharedtechintl.nsf&view=8afb95bde732827a852567350055c8fd.
- ↑ "How do you decide which programs are offered through Google Pack?". http://www.google.com/support/pack/bin/answer.py?answer=28078&query=free&topic=0&type=f..
- ↑ "Google goes after Microsoft again". http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/08/14/google-goes-after-microsoft-again/. August 14, 2007
- ↑ MercuryNews.com Strong holiday sales bolster ebay earnings. January 25, 2007. (Article commenting on the inclusion of Skype in Google Pack)
- ↑ ZDNet.co.uk Google Pack fails to impress. January 9, 2006
- ↑ http://www.google.com/support/pack/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=28074
- ↑ #120187-12: StarOffice 8 (Windows): Update 9
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