Google has packaged five of its free software programs into one easy-to-download, easy-to-install package.
Included in the new Google Pack are Google Earth, Picasa, Google Pack Screensaver, Google Desktop and the Google Toolbar.
Google Earth is a cool application that works through your web browser and high-speed (cable or DSL) Internet connection. It’s not suitable for dialup. Google Earth shows you zoomable pictures of the earth, down to the level of being able to spot your house. (I can see my house and the neighbor’s car in his driveway.)
Picasa is Google’s photo organizer. It has an unusual interface that lets you find, edit and share your photos easily.
Google Pack Screensaver is a new product. It lets you use your photos to create individual full-screen pictures or collages of multiple pictures — as a moving/changing screensaver.
Google Desktop is the powerful tool for searching your own computer. Google Desktop, by default, will also search inside Outlook using the included Outlook Toolbar.
Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer — if you use I.E., you need this. Google Toolbar provides an effective popup blocker in addition to allowing you to easily search Google.
All these Google programs are free and come as part of the Google Pack package. You get to choose which to install, or install them all. Google Pack also installs Google Updater to add automatic updating for these programs.
Google Pack also some software from third parties automatically — again, you can choose whether to install it onr not. These includes programs include Mozilla Firefox (with Google Toolbar), Ad-Aware SE Personal, Norton Antivirus 2005 Special Edition and Adobe Reader 7.0.
At the time you download Google Pack, you can also choose to include Google Talk (Voice and IM), RealPlayer, GoogleVideo and GalleryPlayer HD Images.
As you can probably guess, the third-party programs are trial or “lite” versions.
The free Google Pack was discontinued in 2011.