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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Google Pack Homepage Redesign

Google changed the homepage for their “bundleware” Google Pack, as Brinke Guthrie in the forum noticed. With new checkboxes in place right on the frontpage, it’s now easier to immediately see what’s part of the bundle, and to immediately remove stuff you don’t like. (Google forgot to make the program titles be connected to their respective checkboxes though, meaning you can’t click on them to toggle the selection – a minor but incredibly popular bug.)

In 2006, according to internal Google documents, Pack was installed 60 million times around the globe, though Google made it one of their goals to increase deployment especially for “novice users.” Even with the recent homepage change, Google Pack might remain one of the more controversial Google pograms... last not least for its inclusion of Real Player, which in the past was known to behave spy-warish. Google in their proposed software principles from 2004 (last updated June 2006) writes, “An application shouldn’t install itself onto your computer secretly or by hiding within another program you’re installing or updating. You should be conspicuously notified of the functions of all the applications in a bundle,” and “Applications that affect or change your user experience should make clear they are the reason for those changes”... but also “Application providers should not allow their products to be bundled with applications that do not meet these guidelines.”

[Note that I recreated the download button in above “before” screenshot, as didn’t load it...]

Ongoing comments

[Thanks Brinke!]


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