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Google Pack Is No Computer. Does It Threaten Microsoft?

Larry Page Speaks at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

The aniticipated $200 PC with the non-Microsoft OS was not part of Google co-founder Larry Page's announcement during his keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Instead, the company announced Google Pack, a suite of free downloads that "give users a way to painlessly install all the essential software they need - pre-configured in a sensible way - in a matter of minutes," according to Marissa Mayer, VP of search products and user experience at Google.

Mayer's official statement said that the company has "heard from countless new computer owners that it can take days or weeks to install all the software they need to make their computer useful," a statement presumably referring to Microsoft Windows systems. Whatever one makes of that statement, Google also said that it will maintain and update all the software so that users "don't have to keep track of (them)."

The Google Pack includes Google Desktop (which is supposed to compete with MS Office), a Norton AntiVirus program, a number of programs that most users have probably downloaded such as Mozilla Firefox, Adobe Reader 7, Ad-Aware SE Personal, and Real Player, and other utility programs such as Google Earth, Talk, and Screensaver.

Most Windows-based PCs come with Microsoft Office, although a low-end remains in both the desktop and laptop markets in which Office is not installed. Will these users go online and get the Google Pack? The early analysis says Microsoft is hardly threatened by this announcement, so the question remains whether this is the best that Google has to offer or simply the first announcement in a series.

Meanwhile, Google's announcement of its new Video Marketplace, along with Yahoo's announcement the day before of its vision of the desktop and mobile entertainment future, drew the most attention at CES, which has traditionally been focused on the devices that deliver content rather than the way that content is delivered.

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Most Recent Comments
RonchMan 01/10/06 12:38:10 PM EST

Google Desktop competes with Microsoft Office?? WTF? I guess that's the beauty of the internet that any ninkompoop can publish... How about actually *knowing* something about the subject you are writing about? Is that too old-fashioned?

Adam 01/07/06 01:38:07 PM EST

Ha, ha. Microsoft is tanking. Better pull out of the MS parade. Hell the Explorer is 6 years old. And most "non-tech" people have still yet to realize that their are options. Good ploy by Google.

SEO/SEM Journal News Desk 01/07/06 11:54:16 AM EST

Is Google Pack the end or the beginning of Google's intrusion into the traditional desktop software market that's been dominated by Microsoft for as long as most people can remember? Offering several free applications via download, the announcement was practically invisible in the glare of the twin annonuncements by Google and Yahoo of their vision of the entertainment future.