August 14, 2007
My only problem with Google's choices is Norton. While the download includes a 6 month subscription to updates, what happens after that? Seemed like a strange choice as Norton isn't free if updates cost after a point. Plus new Dell machines come with McAfee which also nags you to pay for updates, which makes me nutso. ClamWin, in my opinion, would've been a better choice (not as pretty, but truly free and open source.)
In what looks like a direct jab at Microsoft, Google includes Sun Microsystems' office productivity suite Star Office to their free bundle of PC software called Google Pack.
StarOffice includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics, and database applications, along with a library of images and 3D effects. Normally available for $70, StarOffice is free with Google Pack.
Star Office is the basis for the free and open source OpenOffice.org application suite. Unlike OpenOffice.org, Star Office requires the Java runtime to use. So why would GOOG choose Star Office over Open Office for the Pack?
Beats us, but since launch (and even through an iteration ) a couple of their app choices left us shaking our heads, like Adobe Reader and RealPlayer. (With the exception of Firefox, they seem to be open source-o-phobic.)
Obviously Google is trying to grab some of the desktop market from Microsoft which, I think, is a good thing. Competition is likely to make all vendors more responsive to the needs of its customers. However, I'm a bit puzzled as to some of the applications that Google chose. I'd have added Ad-Ware and Clamwin (or maybe AVG Free edition), as well as Open Office. And Real Player? Really? I think that VLC is the superior choice here. Regardless, it's a pretty decent software bundle, so check it out if you're so inclined.
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