Google announced at CES last night that they had produced a collection of programs for free download. The programs are:
-Google Pack Screensaver
-Google Toolbar for IE
plus some non-google programs:
-Mozilla Firefox with Google Toolbar
-Norton Antivirus 2005 'special edition'
-Ad-Aware SE Personal
-Adobe Reader 7
Although this collection of programs is nowhere near the long-rumoured google OS, it does present a direct challenge to Microsoft, in competition with Redmond's new security products (OneCare, Windows Defender), IE, MSN Desktop Search as well as its online maps service.
Google Pack has had a mixed reception, with many people seeing little significance in the announcement, as all the programs included, with the exception of Google Pack Screensaver, are already available. However, the inclusion of an updater element that automatically updates all the programs centrally will certainly be welcome.
Larry Page also used his keynote speech to introduce Google Video Store, which enables the addition of pay-for content to Google Video. CBS is contributing content, as are NBA. Google takes 30% of all sales. Unfortunately, us UK users won't be able to download content just yet, although Larry said that we would 'eventually'. Something to look forward to.