Google Video and the Google Pack

While I get Google’s leaked video plans (allowing the downloading and viewing of selected licensed content), I’m puzzled/intrigued by Google’s impending software bundle:

The Mountain View, Calif., search company also plans to announce Google Pack, a bundle of software from Google and other companies that consumers will be able to download and install on their computers, say people familiar with the matter. That software will include the open-source Firefox Web browser, a version of Norton AntiVirus software from Symantec Corp., Adobe System Inc.’s Reader software, RealNetworks Inc.’s RealPlayer multimedia software, Trillian instant-messaging software from Cerulean Studios and Lavasoft AB’s Ad-Aware antispyware software. Google Pack will also include Google’s own desktop search software, Google Earth satellite imaging and maps software, Picasa photo-management software, Google Talk instant-messaging program, its Toolbar add-on for Web browsers and screen saver software.

Why both Trillian and Google Talk? Why not Gaim? And more broadly, who is this “pack” being packed to? Is Google about to become a kind of CD-style aggregator of one-off products? Is that how badly it wants to piss Microsoft off?

[via WSJ]


  1. Many friends of mine, when they go buy a new computer want to get the “correct” software on their machine. Even if they have the knowledge, they do not want to click several links to get software they can’t be absolutely sure is the right version. (Tucows,, sourceforge aggregate so much, a novice user isn’t sure they are downloading the right program)
    I’ve burned CDs that included almost all of these applications–now I can tell friends to get the “Google Pack.” Another user trusting Google for giving them what they want. (As far as the IM client choice–well maybe they’ll figure it out in Google Pack 2.0)
    In a year, how much will it “cost” to get your software in the Google Pack? Maybe Google will dump you from the pack if you don’t offer a free version of your product with enough features? (“Sorry Symantec, AVG is a better free product for users–unless you want to make your free version better? etc.”) How many more computers will be protected from spyware and adware because of this?

  2. Franklin Stubbs says:

    Ah, brilliant.
    AOL’s whole business model was based on simple n’ easy for go slow web o’ phobe types. Maybe Google is inspired by AOL to leverage its brand name with a similar strategy, as the AOL type user has graduated beyond irrational fear / ignorance of the ‘net and is now faced with irrational fear / ignorance of what to put on their computer.
    One question, does this mean we will be seeing ‘Google Pack’ CDs dropped from helicopters and used as drink coasters?

  3. Ugh. I think GOOG is finally jumping the shark if this is true. GOOG getting anywhere near REAL is a decidedly bad idea.
    Besides – GOOG on the desktop is clearly a mixed bag. The desktop app they already have out there is somewhat of a performance hog. Google talk seems to work pretty well, and Google Earth is a good product (though that probably has more to do with the fact that it was aquired than any GOOG in house expertise at desktop apps).
    This seems a little far afield from their core competency for me to feel good about it vis-a-vis it’s revenue potential. I would rather see GOOG get into other search-centric markets where their crown jewel search tech can really shine (e.g. imagine if you had a Google indexer on LexisNexus, Google for jobs/resumes, etc.).
    From a tech perspective, they seem to be much better at the server app game than the client side game (with the exception of their AJAX work, which is truly great).

  4. Holy bloatware! Isn’t it a bit ironic that they install Adware protection alongside Real, which is among the worst offenders of that garbage (I just want to listed to some NPR clips! I don’t need another jukebox, popup ads, etc. etc.)
    I hope it can block itself.

  5. Ah, a wonderful idea: Real being blocked pre-emptively on installation. The extra crap installed by that program makes me nuts.

  6. سلام

  7. Riffing on Paul Kedrosky and the “Google Pack”

  8. Seeing how Google is becoming a company that buys startups for their superior product ideas and plans to create CD-ROMs of software that is readily available on the web (virtually all of which requires the web for its use…), you could forgive me for thinking that Google is run by recent MBA grads, and not, say, by the iconoclastic, quasi-genius engineers I keep reading about.

  9. Riffing on the “Google Pack” (GOOG) (Update 2)

    Paul Kedrosky notes: WSJ: [Google] plans to announce Google Pack, a bundle of software from Google and other companies that consumers will be able to download and install on their computers, say people familiar with the matter. That software will inclu…

  10. Google (

    Paul Kedroskybrought my attention to this news article, which I should have ignored and left well enough alone. But, here goes:WSJ: Google plans to announce Friday that it will begin allowing consumers to buy videos from major content partners through …