Google has created yet another toy for me to play with. Google Pack. The best part of this, so far, seems to be the Google Updater, which will automatically update all of the software that it installs.
At Google, we put a lot of thought into improving your online experience. We’re alarmed by what we believe is a growing disregard for your rights as computer users. We’ve seen increasing reports of spyware and other applications that trick you in order to serve you pop-up ads, connect your modem to expensive toll numbers or hijack your browser from the site you’re trying to visit.
We do not see this trend reversing itself. In fact, it is getting worse. As a provider of services and monetization for users, advertisers and publishers on the Internet, we feel a responsibility to be proactive about these issues. So, we have decided to take action. As a first step, we have outlined a set of principles we believe our industry should adopt and we’re sharing them to foster discussion and help solve the problem. We intend to follow these guidelines ourselves with the applications we distribute (such as the Google Toolbar and Google Deskbar). And because we strongly believe these principles are good for the industry and users worldwide, we will encourage our current and prospective business partners to adopt them as well.
The basic gist of this seems to be a nice package of software (screen-shot), most of which I already had installed, for those users who not quite as adept as others. It will install the software that you choose, and update it accordingly. If you already have the software installed, and it is up to date, it will do nothing. If you have a previous version of the software installed, it will update it. Unfortunately, it does not update the definitions for all of this software (i.e. Ad-Aware), just the programs themselves.
My initial test was to install Adobe Reader 6, and remove Adobe Reader 7. The upgrade was silent and quick. (I am using a cable modem, so please do not get frustrated if you are still using dial-up). I also chose Firefox, even though it is already installed and I DO NOT WANT the Google Tool-bar for Firefox. I let the upgrade run, and went in and removed the Google Tool-bar extension. Google Updater has not tried to re-install the tool-bar, which is something that I had expected it to try.
I intentionally chose a software package that I did not want to test the uninstallation process. It works great! From the installed software page on Google Updater choose “uninstall” and Viola!, the software is uninstalled. There is no complicated procedure, and the updater will not bother you again, or for at least several hours, as that is the length of time I have had this software installed.
For me, I will probably uninstall the Google Updater in about a week, after giving it a fair shake. I am extremely diligent in keeping my software up to date. For those PC users out there who are more of a “set it and forget it” type, I believe that this would be a truly great application. So much so, that I am going to recommend this to all of my family.