Google Pack is a collection of free applications from Google and other third-parties that removes the hassle of installing and updating software. Google said it didn’t receive money for including applications in the Pack and only chose apps that meet “Google’s high software standards and are considered best in their class”, but it’s hard to explain some choices like Real Player, Norton Antivirus or even Adobe Reader when you could easily find better free software.
PDFzone reports that Larry Page, Google’s co-founder, wanted to include Foxit Reader, a lightweight PDF reader. “[Marissa] Mayer said in an interview (…) that Page lobbied hard for several months to make Foxit Reader an element of Google Pack, the company’s basic utilities download that enables PC users to quickly load new machines with the software they need to use Google services. Eventually, Google signed a deal with Adobe to make Reader the PDF viewer in Google Pack, despite Page’s concerns about its load time before it went live in 2006.”
Marissa Mayer explains that Google introduced the option to view PDF search results as HTML because Adobe’s PDF reader was pretty big and slow. Foxit Reader’s setup file has 1.67 MB, while the latest version of Adobe Reader has 22.3 MB (and more “bells and whistles”).
Google, Larry Page, Foxit Reader, Google Pack