At last, someone at Google has realised something that I and others have known about for ages: it takes ages to install applications on Windows because everything is disparate and has its own installer.
On Ubuntu, I can fire up a simple Add Applications applet which allows me to browse a selection of apps of varying kinds, such as development tools, Internet utilities and browsers, games, and so on. On Windows, once the core operating system and freebie MS applets are installed, I have to seek out the stuff I want from many different places.
Google Pack will change that. It provides a simple install/uninstall one-window interface to Google and select third-party applications on the Windows platform. They are:
Google Earth, Desktop, Toolbar, Picasa, Talk, and the new Video Player and Pack Screensaver;
Mozilla Firefox with Google Toolbar, Norton AntiVirus 2005 Special Edition, Ad-aware SE, Trillian, Gallery Player HD, RealPlayer, and Adobe Reader.
That reads like an excellent line-up of useful apps to be installed on a brand-new machine. It’ll also auto-detect previously installed apps, so if you’ve already got the latest releases of Google Earth and Adobe Reader installed, it’ll mark them as up-to-date and leave them alone.
Genius, just genius. You have to ask why Microsoft didn’t do this years ago.