February 4, 2006
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas there was much talk about Google releasing their own PC - together with a Google operating system. Google quickly denounced those rumors but during their keynote presentation - the last for the CES and perhaps the most anticipated they did release a collection of 'essential' internet software that they labeled Google Pack.
is a set of software containing what they believe is critical for today’s modern, internet enabled computers. Google Pack contains the following Google software:
Google Earth: a 3D earth browser that lets you zoom from space to street level, and if you are in the US find driving directions, hotels, restaurants and other points of interest.
Google Desktop: A desktop companion tha lets you find all of your emails, files, web history with a single search bar
Picasa: A first class photo organiser that lets you find, edit and share your photos. Picasa also lets you easily remove red eye and fix other blemishes with your photos
Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer or Firefox blocks annoying pop-ups and lets you do a search from any web page.
Google Pack Screensaver lets you use your own photos as a screen saver or a great looking collage.
Google pack also includes 3rd party software including Firefox (a great alternative browser to IE that is safe and faster to use), AdAware SE (a great anti-spyware utility from Lavasoft), A 6-months free subscription to Norton Antivirus 2005 and Adobe Acrobat Reader 7 (an essential piece of software that lets you view PDF files)
Google Pack contains an impressive array of free software but is extra impressive due to the mechanism that Google created to deploy and install the various components. Google Pack downloads and manages all of the software for you, lets you uninstall different pieces, resume downloading if your internet connection is lost - and also keeps all of the software up-to-date. If you don't have the time or expertise to install of these components separately I'd highly recommend getting Google Pack. Its simple interface, auto download and install functionality will prove a huge timer saver for many.
Google Pack beta is available in English, runs on Windows XP, and supports Firefox 1.0 and higher and Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher. More info on Google Pack is available at http://pack.google.com.