Google co-founder Larry Page was one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Yahoo!’s Terry Semel were the other keynote speakers). Page used his speech to introduce two new Google services: Google Video Store and Google Pack.
Google Video Store
Google has offered free video downloads for a while. Now, Larry Page announced that Google will open a video store where users can pay to view or download premium video content.
While a launch date has not yet been set, Google describes the Vidoe Store as the “… first open video marketplace enabling consumers to buy and rent a wide range of video content from a major television network, a professional sports league, cable programmers, independent producers and film makers. This fast growing collection of videos will include prime-time and classic hits from CBS, a full slate of NBA games from this season and outstanding performances from the past, music videos from SONY BMG, Charlie Rose interviews as well as news and historical content from ITN and new titles being added everyday.”
According to John Batelle’s Searchblog, the real innovation of Google Video Store is that Google will be splitting revenues 70:30, with 70% going to the content provider. The content providers will also have full autonomy in setting pricing, and Google will offer its own Digital Rights Management to content providers.
The implications for video search relevancy on Google will be very interesting, but it certainly looks like Google will be shaking up the content market!
Google Pack is a package of free software including Google Earth (the satellite imaging and mapping program), Picasa (Google’s photo organizer), a screensaver program, Google Desktop (a desktop search program), Google’s toolbar for Internet Explorer, the browser Mozilla Firefox (with the Google Toolbar), a 6 month subscription to Norton Antivirus 2005, Adobe Reader 7 and the anti-spyware program Ad-Aware SE Personal.
The software pack also includes Google Updater – the program with which you can download and install everything contained in Google Pack. The Updater can also be used to uninstall software, and an icon for Google Updater will appear in your machine’s system tray and will display notifications when new software or updates become available.
The software contained in Google Pack is pretty cool, but not exactly new, and you can already get all of it for free in various other places. To me the pack just looks like a good way of getting as many people as possible to download the Google Updater onto their computer. With Google Updater, Google can send any kind of program to a PC and has a way to push software out to users.
What a great way for them to distribute new search tools or software to compete with Microsoft’s suite of products! Looks like the battle for eyeballs between Microsoft and Google has jumped from search engine results pages to your PC desktop!
Google Pack is available for download from http://pack.google.com/pack/pack_installer.html.