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Google to sell video and give away software bundle(?)

According to the WSJ:

Google Inc. plans to announce Friday that it will begin allowing consumers to buy videos from major content partners through the Google site and will also roll out a new downloadable bundle of software for consumers

Under the major upgrade to Google’s video-search service, consumers will be able to pay to download and view videos, such as television shows, on their computers from Google content partners such as TV companies, people familiar with the matter say. Google plans to announce partnerships with some major players tomorrow, including CBS Corp. and the National Basketball Association, these people say.

[Google] also plans to announce Google Pack, a bundle of software from Google and other companies that consumers will be able to download and install on their computers, say people familiar with the matter. That software will include the open-source Firefox Web browser, a version of Norton AntiVirus software from Symantec Corp., Adobe Systems Inc.’s Reader software, RealNetworks Inc.’s RealPlayer multimedia software, Trillian instant-messaging software from Cerulean Studios and Lavasoft AB’s Ad-Aware antispyware software. Google Pack will also include Google’s own desktop search software, Google Earth satellite imaging and maps software, Picasa photo-management software, Google Talk instant-messaging program, its Toolbar add-on for Web browsers and screen saver software.

(All of this is due to be announced at CES today [Friday] during the Google keynote. BTW, if you see my boss, Richard Cooper from BBC, at the event – tell him I’m envious!)

The video service will be interesting, especially to see whether they continue their streaming-only model as DRM, or whether they will offer downloads too.

As for “Google Pack”, pah! Not really sure whether it will make much difference. For me (as a techy) I already use all of those packages, and am happy to get them from source.

For “average users”, I’m not sure whether the thought of a massive download containing some products you want and some products you’re not particularly interested in will be appealing or a simply a put-off.

Of course, all of the above is only speculation (WSJ is arse covering with “…say people familiar with the mater” all throughout their piece). But it sounds like a firm strategy, even if I’m not convinced about the Google bundle.

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