Year in CE
Google Wants More
Who hasn't been talking about Google these days? Though it recently fell short of stockholders' expectations, Google's actions of late show that it wants to be more than just an online search engine. Google co-founder and President, Larry Page, announced three new product offerings during the final keynote address of the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that will bring the company closer to being a content provider. The first is Google Local for Mobile, bringing Google Maps to your phone. The service is currently available for select phone models, providing directions, local search information (find local pizza shops), satellite imagery and the ability to move the maps and zoom in and out. This can currently be downloaded by accessing www.google.com/glm from your mobile phone.
Next, Google has released a collection of free software called Google Pack. They include frequently used programs such as Adobe Reader 7, Ad-Aware SE Personal, Norton AntiVirus 2005 Special Edition and Google's own Desktop search, Earth, Google Talk, Toolbar and Picasa. Google Pack also includes Google Updater, a tool that maintains the software, alerting users when updates and new programs become available.