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Google Downloads
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Google Downloads

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, by MultiMedia




In December 2003, Google launched the beta version of the Google Deskbar, a search tool which runs from the Microsoft Windows taskbar, without a browser having to be open. It can return film reviews, stock quotes, dictionary and thesaurus definitions, plus any pre-configured search of a third-party site (e.g. eBay or Amazon). In November 2004, Google launched an API for Google Deskbar.


Main article: Google Desktop

Google Desktop enables desktop search. It runs locally on a PC and will index all Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape Mail, and Thunderbird emails, text documents, Microsoft Office documents, AOL Instant Messenger conversations, Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, and Netscape history on that PC, PDF, music, images, video, and allow the user to search them from a browser.

Google Desktop 2 (beta) was released on August 22, 2005. The new feature that distinguishes Desktop 2 from Desktop is the addition of Sidebar which is placed on either side of your Windows desktop and can display real-time news, e-mail, photos, stocks, and weather, among others.

On November 3, 2005, Google "graduated" Desktop from beta. ()


Google Earth

Main article: Google Earth

On June 28, 2005, Google made available Google Earth as a downloadable program for free. It uses Keyhole technology to allow customized use of Google Maps, with e.g. map images with town and street names overlaying satellite images. For some areas these overlays are available even though Google Maps by itself does not provide these.

Screenshot from Google Earth
Screenshot from Google Earth



Main article: orkut

Though not mentioned on the Google homepage, orkut is a service hosted, created and maintained by Google engineers. Orkut is a social networking service, where users can list their personal and professional information, create relationships amongst friends and join communities of mutual interest. Affinity engines, a company based in Palo Alto, has filed a lawsuit accusing that Orkut Büyükkökten, a co-founder of the company, illegally took the code, which he wrote for the company, for use in Google.

There is some speculation saying that orkut and Gmail are part of a Google effort to gather information about their users, with the intention of offering a better personalized search service in future. Google already has a personalized search in Google Labs.



Main article: Picasa

On July 13, 2004 Google acquired Picasa, software for management and sharing of digital photographs. Since then, Google has released the latest edition of the software with Picasa2. The aim of the software was to make photo editing simple and easy to use. Picasa has also been integrated with Google's Blogger and Gmail services. It is free to download.



This add-on to Google's software Picasa gives the user the ability to instant message pictures and to surf the web in a shared form: two users instant messaging can surf the web together. It also allows a user to directly add pictures from Picasa to his/her blog on blogger. This is the first instant messaging download offered by Google.


Google Talk

Main Article: Google Talk

On August 24, 2005, a beta version of Talk was released. It is an instant messaging service, utilizing the Jabber protocol. Talk also includes a voice over ip service.



Google Toolbar is a toolbar featuring a Google search bar, as well as other Google tools. As of July 2005, Google Toolbar is available for two browsers, four operating systems and in ten languages.

This addition to Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later adds Google's searching capabilities in a toolbar in the web browser. The latest version includes pop-up ads blocking, automatic filling of forms, the ability to show the Google PageRank value for the current page being viewed, and spell checker, AutoLink and the Word Translator. It has been criticized for being a security risk because it updates itself without user intervention.

A separately downloadable add-on for the toolbar allowed participation in Google Compute, a distributed computing project to help scientific research. This add-on is currently not available.

Other browsers, such as Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Safari, have built-in search tools that offer the same functionality. Recently, Google also launched a new version of the toolbar, "Google Toolbar for Firefox", which functions similarly to its Internet Explorer counterpart, except it has exclusive Firefox-only features. There is also the well established Googlebar project, which although unofficial and not developed by Google directly offers very similar functionality to the official Google Toolbar.

Web Accelerator

Main article: Google Web Accelerator

On May 3, 2005, Google launched a downloadable web accelerator known as Google Web Accelerator. It can be integrated into Mozilla Firefox (taking the form of two new toolbar items) and Microsoft Internet Explorer (taking the form of a new toolbar), but it is also usable in a limited capacity with any web browser simply by setting the browser's proxy server to localhost:9100. It speeds up web browsing through the use of this local proxy server, which sends requests to Google's Web Accelerator servers to help get a faster response. The data between the local proxy and the accelerator servers is compressed to decrease transfer time. The Google Web Accelerator also uses caching and prefetching. Prefetching can be disabled.

However, there was recent controversy over the Accelerator as some users found that their personal website cookies were being shared to other users. This meant that some users found pages such as forum control panels of other users containing personal information appearing and that is was possible to spoof post as those other users. Secure websites were unaffected as the Accelerator did not scan sites protected by https.

It is thought this was the reason that downloads of the Google Accelerator software were disabled, however there were also technical issues with it following links that could cancel or delete website data. The prefetching option would potentially prefetch links such as "delete" or "log out", causing data loss and access problems. Google's servers also quickly reached their maximum capacity due to the widespread use of Accelerator: this is the reason Google officially cited on the Accelerator website.

Google Guide made by MultiMedia | Free content and software

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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