I have to admit, I’m offering an opinion without having ever tried the product. Granted, I have tried several different components of the product at different times, but still, this is more an opinion than a review.
Google Pack offers users an easy way to add a bunch of what Google considers “essential” software to your PC. This includes antivirus, the Firefox browser, Adobe Reader (Acrobat for the old-school folks), Google Earth, Picassa, Google Desktop Search, the list goes on. Honestly, the bundling creeps me out. I’ve been hit with so many “Would you like the Google Toolbar with that” installation experiences lately, that I’m feeling a bit Anti-Google. I still think they’ve done a great job with many of their products (Search, maps.google.com, gmail), but the business practices are starting to worry me.
Why is a coalition of bundling between Microsoft’s competitors a good thing for Microsoft? Because it shows that they realy don’t hold a true monopoly on the computing market. Google is showing Microsoft, the DOJ, and the public that it is possible to compete with Microsoft in the software market. All they need is a couple of OEM’s to pick up Google pack, and Microsoft can take that to their DOJ reps as proof that the playing field is fair.
An additional benefit for Microsoft is that this brings some competitive pressure. Dare Obasanjo points out that Microsoft often does their best work when they have a valid competitor to focus their efforts against.