“During its first-ever appearance at the CES, Internet search giant Google unveiled two initiatives, both of which are aimed, in part, to counter Microsoft, the company it considers a primary competitor. The first is called the Google Video Store: users of this service will be able to buy and rent a wide range of video content online, including prime-time and classic TV shows from CBS, NBA games from this season and the past, Sony BMG music videos, and news and historical content from ITN. The second initiative, and the focus of this review, is Google Pack. Google describes Google Pack as a free collection of safe, useful software from Google and other companies that improves the user experience online and on the desktop.”
Hands on with Google Pack
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2006-01-09 1:00 pmKroc
He’s thinking about the n00bs this is aimed at. Sure it’s nothing to OSNews readers to update, log in etc. But to the largest portion of the market, this only makes use of the Google Pack a horribly convuluted and confusing process. (especially with NAV). This is his real complaint.
2006-01-09 2:43 pmpeejay
No one complains about the fact that you have to update winXP after you installed it
I don’t think this is quite true.
2006-01-09 9:38 pmTermal
This is how every antivir(ad/spyware) software works. This is how windows works – install, and lots and lots of updates with several reboots.
Few pieces of software are as awful as Norton in this regard. Some require one reboot, maybe, but three? And this is how Google describes the pack:
Google Pack also takes the hassle out of downloading, installing, and updating software. You can download and install the entire Google Pack in just a few clicks.
I would expect that everything shipped should be at least up to date as of this month…obviously definitions need updating, but there shouldn’t be any component upgrades requiring reboots in the debut of the pack.
I’m surprised at how harsh he was on Ad-aware though. It seems a decent inclusion to me, but I don’t care to have any antispyware running resident anyway. I’m also actually surprised he likes the Zone Alarm suite.
Well, Google has shown that it is just a company. They can be as brain-dead as other companies when it comes to offering software bundles. No real surprise here, at least not for me.
Yeah, but noob or not, antivir progs and anti-spy|adware progs have to be updated. The solution is to explain this to noobs (and Google perhaps should do a better job at doing that), not bitch about it.
What’s really interesting about Google Pack is that Google chose not to bundle some of its other applications, like Google Web Accelerator, Blogger for Word, and GMail Notifier, and didn’t provide a way for users to sign up for a GMail account.
He makes a good point here, why don’t they just open up gmail already invites aren’t that hard to come by. Recently I wanted to try gmail and google talk, but couldn’t reach anyone who could give me an invite (it was the middle of the night.) So I found this site ( http://www.pimspage.nl/gmail/ ) which gives them away.
It’s getting silly, just open up the registration already.
2006-01-10 7:12 amGet a Life
I find Google’s invite-approach interesting. No, it’s not interesting because it permits them to control the growth of the service. It’s interesting because it penalizes people that don’t have friends, or people that don’t have the right friends. This was more true in the Orkut and early Gmail days than it is now, but the practice in general is somewhat amusing in its social isolation. It also manufactured advertising for the services when people would offer their precious invites to others in their blogs.
An other advertising tool for Google
George ( email@example.com )
This is a ploy just to distribute their worthless toolbar. No different then the hyped up partnership with SUN..just to distribute their lame toolbar. Just a matter of time now until the Google bubble bursts.
Edited 2006-01-09 17:13
It seems that Google fumbled the ball at CES. A (coming someday) video store and a repackaged software download? That’s it? And their stock is how high?
If that’s the best they can do, this may be the beginning of Google’s descent from the stratosphere.
The things that bothers me about Google services in general are there lack of connectedness.
AdWords, AdSense, Google Analytics, sitemaps, that personalized page (whatever that thing was), Gmail etc are all too disconnected for my liking. I want 1 login to the Google system and everything from there is connected. Why not a control panel for whatever Google services I have/use? Dare I say, kind of like Yahoo…
Anyway this software package sounds like it has similar issues. I think what people would prefer (and expect) is an integrated experience. Download the package and go through a single install/update. Sure there has to be some configuration for individual items but the issue is “user experience”.
I think the point about the software being out of date had more to do with HOW out of date it was. Why doesn’t Google repackage it once a week or something?
“As you’ll see below, this bizarre collection of applications, each with its own distinct user interface, level of quality, and method of updating, actually does more to credit Microsoft’s integration strategy than it does to prove the notion that Google knows anything about creating software.”
Yeah, I agree with everything you wrote. NAV is terrible – I wrote not long ago that I’d rather put up with viruses than yous that piece of crap.
Zone alarm is another offender (and so are Kerio’s recent versions). Inclusion of a firewall in SP2 was a blessing – it does one thing, and it does it well: filters internet packets.
I don’t like this pack – but I don’t like the way he criticized it either.
The ‘Google Pack Installer’ is aweful! I ran it a few minutes ago because I want Google Earth program which looks very cool. I like mountains and geography a lot. I want to view mountain ranges and whatever else I can find in it.
As soon as I ran the installer, it started installing all of the software without even asking me what I wanted it to do, not even a license agreement or anything like that. (see the first screenshot in the review, there is no option, it just starts installing away, picking bad install locations for my computer). I had to be quick and cancel the install and click ‘uninstall’ on the few that did install (picaso, google desktop, etc). (I left Ad-Aware installed which I like)
The installer hadn’t gotten to Google Earth part yet and now the option to install it isnt available. I’ve rebooted my machine and relaunched the installer and still I can not get google Earth installed. It sends me to a google pack page that I can check or or uninstall each part of the google pack but that’s just for show & tell (its just a web page), those don’t install or uninstall anything. I re-downloaded the google pack isntaller but that doesn’t change anything.
When I launch the installer now it says it cant find a network connection is isn’t true. I even turned my firewall off which made no difference.
I know poorly thought out software development when I see it. Yeah, I suggest you sell your Google stock based on this product. Granted I did get one free piece of software but I can get Ad-Aware for free from the Lavasoft site.
They are running out of ideas…
Releasing a bundle… Gimme a break. They should have changed NAV and include NOD32 instead. Who will download their crap if you can get it from their respective web sites (AdAware, Mozilla, etc…)?
Is it just me or is it impossible to download this stupid pack? http://pack.google.com/
A very honest review – and that’s good. I was not impressed with the selection either.
Criticism is good, but some of this is sooo silly. Yeah, you have to update the virus definitions and adaware after install – but that’s something google can’t do much about. Why is this presented as flaws? This is how every antivir(ad/spyware) software works. This is how windows works – install, and lots and lots of updates with several reboots. No one complains about the fact that you have to update winXP after you installed it:
Despite what the Google Pack Installer says, however, you’re not done. Oh, no, not even close. As you launch each application, you’ll discover that various other installation tasks still need to occur. For example, Google Talk must be configured with your GMail information. Google Desktop Search has to be configured with various preferences. Norton Antivirus has to be updated three times, each of which requires a reboot
Oh, and you have to provide your account details for Google Talk? That is just shocking, really! Why doesn’t Google Talk guess that information, why?! This is stupid.
Some of he criticism (Gallery Player) is valid (I myself would criticize google pack because NAV is a terrible choice for an antivir program) – but why does the author have to drag down quality of the review with stupid rants like the above?