Why Google Pack? Blame Larry and Sergey

My rule of thumb with bizarre product launches from companies is that the more bizarre they are, the more likely they were the pet project of the CEO/Founder. That logic was borne out in the announcement of Google Pack (a hodge-podge of one-off, mostly non-Google software), according to an interview with Google’s Marissa Mayer late today in the Wall Street Journal:

[Google vice president Marissa] Mayer said the impetus for Google Pack was the frustration of Google’s two co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, with installing basic software on new personal computers they purchased.

You just had to know it.

[Update] And apparently Eric Schmidt did know it, but went ahead with it anyway. The following is from the Engadget report on the Google Pack launch:

Eric [Schmidt] says he argued with Larry and Sergey about the need to do Google Pack, but they convinced them it was necessary to make the experience a lot better.


  1. It’s a bit more sinister than that Paul

  2. Michael Robinson says:

    So it’s not really a product. It’s more like philanthropy.
    That makes a lot more sense, now.

  3. It’s an OS sans kernel. OK, so there are some reasons why it’s not that yet, but I think that’s where it’s headed.
    A commenter on Nicholas Carr’s blog called it cheesy, it is. They should have worked on it a bit more before the release. On the other hand timing is all important when driving such a wedge into the mainstream, they went with what they had.

  4. I think it’s more underhanded than that. The trojan horse here isn’t any of the software included with the pack, it’s that little “Google Updater” program that ties it all together, a program that works a lot like a package manager for Linux.
    Yes, the benefit to the end user is that it makes software installs easy, a functionality that is sorely lacking in Windows. But it’s not about getting any one of those particular programs onto people’s computers – it’s about letting Google manage the experience.