Google Bundles Software with WinZip

In a marketing tactic used primarily by spyware and adware companies, Google has begun bundling its Google Toolbar and Desktop Search software with the popular WinZip archive utility. The move comes as Google begins to expand its bundling effort with a number of leading software applications.

WinZip quietly updated its download executable last week, which now weighs in at close to 4MB with the added Google tools. Users are given the opportunity to opt out of installing the Google software on the first WinZip setup screen; by default the tools are installed.

Google Toolbar adds a number of features to Internet Explorer including pop-up blocking, spell checking and Web page translation. Google Desktop Search serves to replace the basic Windows search function with a full-featured utility that indexes e-mail, documents, media, Web history and chats for instant access.


Last month, Google signed a similar bundling deal with DVD software maker InterVideo. RealNetworks also began bundling Google Toolbar with version 10 of Real Player, which prompts users to install the toolbar on the software's first run.

Google did not respond by press time to inquires about whether such a distribution approach could be seen as questionable from a company that boasts its ability to "make money without doing evil."

However, Google has recently faced increased competition by search competitors Microsoft and Yahoo, which offer their own search and toolbar utilities. Microsoft recently launched the final version of its MSN Toolbar Suite with Windows Desktop Search that connects users with MSN services, while adding tabbed browsing capabilities to Internet Explorer.

Unlike its rivals, Google does not have the ability to push its search tools via established software products, such as Yahoo! Messenger and MSN Messenger, that are used daily by millions of consumers. Such a limitation may have prompted Google to seek out third parties, which already have pre-installation agreements with major PC manufacturers such as Dell.

But Google isn't the only company resorting to bundling. Yahoo recently inked a deal to offer its Yahoo! Toolbar with Macromedia Flash and Adobe's Acrobat Reader - both essential downloads for most computer users.

67 Responses to Google Bundles Software with WinZip

  1. wes_517 says:

    i hate extra stuff...

    i'm ok unchecking all this to not install it, bu there are soooo many people that figure since it's checked it MUST be good... i hate this tactic... but it's better than Itunes and quicktime recently... you don't get the option for itunes...

    so not AS evil, but still evil. "It's the diet coke of evil."

    • nate says:

      Well, you must understand that iTunes is BUILT on QuickTime - so that's a bit different. You must have QuickTime installed because it installs the codecs and the APIs that iTunes uses.

      Stupid approach? Yes. But it's a bit different than straight bundling.

      • DJInsomniac says:

        I think he means when you download Quicktime, iTunes comes installed as well. That's just not right.

      • rhy7s says:

        iTunes comes with Quicktime for the aforesaid reasons, you can still choose to download Quicktime standalone, you are not forced to get iTunes unless you make the decision to download it. I don't use either iTunes or Quicktime as I prefer alternatives but you can't justify lying about the inability to download Quicktime on its own.

        edit: The link by the way is

      • GoodThings2Life says:

        I've just visited Apple's QuickTime site in the last week... the "Standalone Installer" link is an HTML size 1 font style on the lower right corner of the screen where no one can see it unless they're really REALLY looking for it. It's also a grey-blue link on a navy-blue background making it even harder to see.

        They need to have options:

        Quicktime for Mac
        Quicktime + iTunes for Mac
        Quicktime for Windows
        Quicktime + iTunes for Windows


      • Maxwolf says:

        Seriously! I agree with that!! Why do they beat around the bush like that? They know you need the software to watch those file formats because they made the format too! The reasoning behind it makes my stomach growl.

      • roj says:

        There's an even better option:

        Quicktime Alternative.

        'nuff said.

      • athome says:

        Much like Windows and IE

  2. bourgeoisdude says:

    Not the first, I downloaded SiSoft Sandra 2005 and it wanted google toolbar to install (though I can uncheck it and did), as well as Adobe Acrobat 7 if I recall (may have been Shockwave Player, installed both at once so I forgot) though it provides an option as well--it is VERY easy to overlook however.

    A while back on some other betanews article I mentioned that google would not last forever, I said to "mark my words...not today or even this year but Google will take a long, hard fall one day...". I am sure of it today just as I was then...

    • athome says:

      I agree with that. They are beginning to infect our PC's rather than be the great search engine they once were. Their practices are coming into concern for me. They are INVADING.

  3. Mark Gillespie says:

    Yahoo employ this tactic. Please google, don't resort to these lowlife tactics. Your products are good enough to "sell" themselfs.. You don't need to trick people into installing them...

  4. deadmonkey says:

    Personally I don't like the idea but I use WinRAR so I also don't really care ;)

    • Kramy says:

      Dude, get 7-zip. Total freeware, and insane compression compared to WinRAR. If you got the RAM(4gb), and the fastest computer on the market today, you set it to the MAXIMUM settings, and can usually compress things to 1/3 the size of winrar, and 1/10 the size of winzip, or smaller.

      I compressed 400mb of email with video/images in it down to 210mb in 7z. :)
      Winzip got 363mb, bz2 284mb, and don't remember for WinRAR.

      • bourgeoisdude says:

        Off subject--all I'll say is compression is all about the files being compressed. Many times even .CAB files are better than .rar, .ace, or whatever. TXT files usually are .CABed better, .iso is usually .RARed better, and mp3's and movies are generally .ACEd better. No experience with 7-zip yet but I'm sure .RAR can beat it in some respects. This is off subject now but quit pretending 7-zip is always better (hey, it may be) based on one example alone.

      • Kramy says:

        Alright, here's where it's better and worse.

        I have a 2.0ghz computer, with a slow hd(~30mb/sec read, sisoft sandra).

        Simple Description: Best compression in existance at everything multi-file. Worse compression single-file.

        Time for compression is insane, even compared to WinRar. On my computer 10mb takes ~20secs, 100mb takes ~8min, 400mb takes ~45min. Compression time varies depending on settings though, and file types. I prefer "Ultra" mode on maxed settings. Exe files take longer to compress than other types, but 7-zip reliably shrinks them about 2-5% more than WinZip.(exe's rarely compress well, if at all, so that is quite impressive)

        7-Zip creates word lists from ALL the files, providing great compression, which is one of the reasons is actually able to gain some space compressing multiple .exe's.

        7-Zip has a dynamic Dictionary up to 192mb(WinZip is 32kb). If it gets smaller by using a word and an index, it will...compressing a 192mb dictionary requires like 4gb of ram though, and an insane number of passes over the files. :P

        7-Zip ALWAYS takes longer than other zipping, but often unzips faster. An example is zipping up that email account that took ~45 minutes on my 2.0ghz computer. 7-Zip unzipped 60% faster than WinZip unzipped a zip, and I don't even know how much faster than a cab would be.

        7z vs Cab. 7-Zip ALWAYS trumps Cab files, and by quite a lot! I'm going to spend like an hour uncompressing the IE6 redist and recompressing all the same files in individual 7z archives and get back to you on how small it gets. The first 4 archives averaged 40% smaller, however!

      • Kramy says:

        Wow, I sound just like a fanboy there.

        Ok, the results weren't quite as great as I expected. Uncompressing all the files and recompressing in 7z, the filesize of the IE 6 redist shrunk from 45.2mb to 33.8mb, roughly a 25% drop.

        With the exception of 1 file, every 7z'd file was smaller than the equivalent cab file by atleast 10%.

        To truely see it in action though, you have to try it yourself. There might be a reason I'm a fanboy. ;)

        Really though, I didn't recompress it right for 7z. 7-Zip is best at compressing everything at once, and does an excellent job compressing multiple versions of the same file.(Ex: iexplorer.exe for NT,ME,XP, etc.) To take advantage of 7-Zip's zipping, you have to zip every file at once with the "Solid Archive" option on.

        I truely believe that if I had done so, with an elaborate folder-scheme to enable zipping every file at once, that it easily would have shrunk another 20%.

        Judging by the number of duplicate files in those cabs though, I would not be surprised if, if someone tried it, the files would compress much better than that maybe to as little as 18mb or 12mb.

        Edit: Btw, I used to have 4.45gb of misc downloads. Now I have 3.26gb. :)

  5. Pipewrench says:

    This is unfortunate. Google, since it's IPO, is stooping to new lower levels.

    To me Yahoo! still seems like the nice kid on the block.

    Google is really missing the boat by not having Google Instant Messenger and also Releasing Gmail to the public.

    Google, what the heck are you doing? Must be the new idiot managers. :-)

  6. mjm01010101 says:

    This is silly. I see this as a strategy for companies that are running out of ideas for revenue growth. Like companies that put advertisements from other companies on their homepage. You won't see Microsoft do this anytime soon.

    I hate winzip, also. :)

  7. FlipmodeBG says:

    I hate google for that. WinZIP sucks. WinRAR is the best!

  8. forgie says:

    Bundling? Great, now they want their software to attempt to install programs people dont want or if they did they'd already have it. How the heck does WinZip fit into a toolbar? It doesn't. Lame.

  9. dhousman says:

    It is an odd tactic for Google but ... for folks publishing popular software that is having trouble getting over the profit hump I would guess that google is footing a bill for being included with every download. I don't know the price but I think this is just their way of paying someone else for advertising since everyone else is paying them for it.

    On the flip side I like Google better than the other desktop search products because as a software developer they are the only ones with a real API/SDK and allowing folks to connect into the tool from all angles. Microsoft and others are hopelessly behind even in the philosophy of it.

  10. GeorgeSantayana says:

    I'm not so sure why Google is pleased with GDS. Have they not tried the latest version of MSDS? It spanks GDS.

  11. Kramy says:

    I have no problem with this. Microsoft has been bundling IE with windows since...whenever, so Google should be allowed to bundle superior searching products(than what microsoft has) with whatever they choose to bundle it with.

    I don't use winzip - get 7-zip, total freeware, and an advanced interface, with the best compression available to date.

    • aerthling says:

      I'd hardly call 7-Zip's interface advanced.

      • Kramy says:

        Hey, I said "Advanced", not "Simple", "User Friendly", or "Pretty".

        I like it though, since there's no crap. :P

        Edit: Btw, I'm one of those crazy nuts who turns off all the extra features on WindowsXP(except the themes ofcourse - they can be pretty).

      • Kramy says:

        Please define "better". If you got the memory(512+mb), a fast harddrive, and the processor speed, 7-Zip zips "better".(NOT faster) I wouldn't really recommend it for slow and old computers though, or even anything less than 1.4ghz.

        Man...7z would fly on a Raid-0 200mb/sec.

  12. Portal3 says:

    Ahahaha, I only just downloaded this recently on a 56k connection. I didn't think it was NEW for Winzip to do something like this. Windows was bitched @ by the europeans for bundling WMP, why not Winzip for Google Toolbar? Sure, the EULAs are different.
    I only use Winzip on old computers running an OS like Win98; for WinXP there's just no need to install it since the OS supports ZIP. If people using old PCs and OS' are downloading this then they're likely to have a slow connection. Why peeve them by adding some google crap? FYI does the same thing.

    • Tenoq says:

      Probably because you don't have to install Winzip. Also probably because you can opt out on Google during the install. And finally because most people just use the free/shareware version of Winzip.

      • Niro says:

        uhm...I guess it just didn't cross your mind that you don't have to install windows...

        I'm actually considering suing mazda because I didn't have an option of not getting their crappy headunit with my rx8...and on top of that they make the headunit integrated with the a/c controls so it's even harder to replace...yea I'm definetly suing them, hopefully tenoq can be the judge in my case, I'll def. win with his logic...

      • AlanRivaldo says:

        I wasn't aware that Mazda had a 90% market share in the automotive industry... I also was not aware that they had been found to be a monopoly, and that they had abused their power as a monopoly...

        Niro, your logic is faulty, not tenoq's.

      • athome says:

        Uh, maybe you forgot about Ford, Chevy, Chrysler and what they did early on to other car makers too. What about IBM, Intel, and Exxon the like. IT ISN'T JUST MS! Wake up people. Stop bashing MS as if they are the only ones that play dirty pool. It is business! Business is tough and so are their competitors.

      • Niro says:

        I wasn't aware that you had no choice in what OS to install. I also was not aware that the gov't can never be wrong with their antiquated "rules" (I'm sure the EU charged MS over $600 mil and is making them remove windows media player because it's better for its citizens, right??).

        Your logic is faulty and ignorant, if you think the gov't is always and can't be argued with then I feel sorry for you...

      • athome says:

        LOL! I like!

  13. Tene says:

    Heh, Microsoft calls Google a trend (ie, they intend to force them out of the market using anti-competitive tactics), so, I beleive the best response is to echo the threat.

    Nice move (opt-out does retain their relatively honest reputation).

  14. prying eyes says:

    I would now definitely like spybot and adaware to list google in their spyware lists...

    • Kramy says:

      It's only spyware if you can't get rid of it, or it doesn't have a working uninstaller.

      By that definition IE, Windows Media Player, and MSN Messenger are spyware, but not this.

      • shy_one says:

        In a sence it is spyware if you use it they collect your ip address and keep your deleted email if your using thier services it's a good thing they don't have an instant messenger or they would keep your conversations as well of course they don't tell you this exept for the gmail it buried somewhere in the agreement that nobody reads. Why would they need to keep such information whats searched for i can understand that but your ip address and your deleted emails makes you wonder could Google be beoming the worst kind of spyware it can't be uninstalled because it is waiting online for you and they seem to be getting into everything they can so there is no escape after all they got share holders to please now.

        BTW you can uninstall MSN messenger it's windows messenger you can't uninstall:)

      • CyberInferno says:

        Actually, you can very easily uninstall windows messenger as demonstrated on this page:

      • Kramy says:

        Cool man, I didn't know that. Thanks.

      • pangel83 says:

        well i just renamed the messenger executable! simple solutions are the best

      • athome says:

        Yes, you can disable it.;en-us;302089

        If you haven't put SP2 on yet, just put in the disk and choose uninstall from the add/remove windows components.

        Though this is the only messaging program I have on my PC. ver5.1 - no ads or additional crap, just a messaging program for friends and family. The crap you get now with AOL, Yahoo and Google to follow soon.

      • umopapisdn says:

        Awesome. The Internet itself, and the entire collection of Internet Protocols are spyware because they pass information such as IP addresses and so forth in their evil "packets." I'm going to ask SpyBot to add my network card's drivers to their Spyware/Adware list.

      • athome says:

        You really are missing the point and need to read the message above. It is how they are being used. Our very freedoms and rights are being violated and you seem either not interested or unable to see it. "Ignorance is Bliss" is a metaphor, not a way of life or a standard in which to live.

  15. funcheung says:

    It would be better if Google makes Winzip free if users choose to install GDS, though i'm already satisfied with my free zip genius. *i've been using GDS since its first debut.

  16. fourte3n says:

    Stupid move... 1) Winzip is crap 2) If people WANTED this software they would get it 3)WHY?

    • umopapisdn says:

      This relates to my "nerd" and "non-nerd" post earlier. The most common installers of WinZip are non-nerds. Like my mom, for example. It is much easier for me to tell my mom to use AOL as her ISP, and to install WinZip (if her OS is too far behind for built-in zip folder functionality.) I am never going to get my mom to use Linux, use a local ISP, and keep up-to-date with the latest and greatest compression programs that can now compress 10% better than previous algorithms, and so on... without expecting me to become the eternal hand-holder for the rest of my life. At the same time, she doesn't even know what the Yahoo and AOL toolbars are, but she's got 'em. So, Google is simply using the same bundling marketing tactics that their primary competitors are doing... not to piss off the nerds, but to market themselves to my mom - and other non nerds that believe that the only software that exists in the world is bundled software.

  17. athome says:

    1st off, why would you want a zip utility if one already exists on the Windows OS since ME, and second, IE6 already has the Popup blocker with the installation of SP2. I don't follow the logic in this. Even if you use FF, there is a popup blocker. These tools just seem to add more clutter to your existing toolbars you want.

    Second, is the whole concept of what is being indexed on your PC, who is getting this data, and why? I do think that these services are great to have on a PC, but not from an Internet Search Engine. Google has already stated that this information will be kept on their servers and have stated that even if you delete it, it will not be removed from their servers. I am not paranoid, but why?

    • umopapisdn says:

      I think you are confusing Gmail or Google Internet Accelerator with Google Desktop Search. Google Desktop Search does NOT store the index data on Google's servers. The index data is stored only on that local PC. Everything regarding Google Desktop Search happens on the PC it is installed on. Gmail and Google Internet Accelerator, however, DO store information on Google's servers because these are web-based services. They have stated, however, that if you actually delete your emails in your Gmail account (instead of just archiving them,) then the data will be removed from Google's servers in a reasonable amount of time. Everyone has to understand that there are always backup and data redundancy routines which result in lots of redundant data... and when there is a delete request, it may take time before all traces are completely nuked.

      • athome says:

        In an article by BetaNews(I beleive) Google even stated that information from your desktop searches will besaved on their servers. I will try to find the article to let you read. MSN does not do that, but Google does. That was the sole reason for not installing it on my machine.

      • umopapisdn says:

        From Google Desktop Search's privacy policy:

        "By default, Google Desktop Search collects a limited amount of non-personal information from your computer and sends it to Google. This includes summary information, such as the number of searches you do and the time it takes for you to see your results, and application reports we'll use to make the program better. You can opt out of sending this information during the installation process or from the application preferences at any time."

        It also states:

        "Your computer's content is not made accessible through Google Desktop Search to Google or anyone else without your explicit permission."

        It is not sending the index information, nor any private information from your computer. It is simply sending "summary information". i.e., anonymous user #1234 did 17 searches with an average response time of 0.34 seconds per search. I have no problem with this, personally. If anyone else does, there is an opt-out for this during the install, and in the preferences.

        This directly conflicts with your statement that the index information would be stored on Google's servers and that users have no way of opting out.

      • athome says:

        I respect your knowledge, but you have to see this from the perspective of privacy. Privacy in the whole sense of the word.

        What information can anyone else be interested in from my desktop search of my documents, mail, photographs, or music - anything I search from programs to viruses? What "specifically" information is gathered? Don't tell me that it is just not personal data - then why do I have a number? what relevance does the number have to a desktop search that they don't want to know any personal information about? What I am searching is personal. It is on my personal PC.

        We are not given the opportunity to send or not send. I do know that the contents are not made accessible to the internet(great and shouldn't be) but, then why does it send any information? Do they want to know what type of PC I have(AMD or Intel - can't get that from my document search)? Maybe they want to know what programs I am using - such as MSN, SBC, Office, AOL Messenger, or Yahoo. You also state that it is sending "summary information," have you seen this summary and could you commment on what it contains? If not, then you have not clarified anything. A political loop. The summary tells them "something," what is "something? and it has value." Information is valuable, and they want it.

        You are assuming a lot here. What is non-personal information? What is summary? What is information?

        We remove adware and spyware from our computers for the sole reason that it is sending information about us(small) back to servers for many reasons. Some is done with our knowledge and some without. Some for good and some for bad. We remove these "things" from our computers, because we feel they are an invasions of our privacy(on many grounds). OK, now one of the major companies which has stated that they will keep ads to a minimum on its web pages(Google)has created an application that will supplying these ad companies with information about us, and "has" been keeping mail on its servers and many other things.


        Doesn't this bother you? and you are saying that "private/personal information" is not being kept. SO THEY SAY! You are wrong!

        Let's say that I go to google and type in a search. If google feels that this information is necessary, then OK. This is not invasive. I have a choice to use them and to decide on what searches I want them to keep on me. Ok, and that is "ME." They can have my IP, MAC or any other identification. Again, I am in control of it. Now, I invite them onto my PC(Desktop Search) and they say that they will not take any personal information from me or my searches, only summaries. WOW! I can not accept that and I would have hoped that others too. We are providing them with more personal information than ever before with a desktop search. If we allow this to happen, then it will become normal and common-place. Our fight against adware and spyware is diminished to idiocy. They are just disguising it and calling it something different. That insults my intelligence.

        side note: Google is an Internet Provider? You called it Internet Accelerator? How can Google make my broadband faster? How can they make my 56K modem faster than 56K? By giving me less content(not on your life). They make money by sending me contnet. I would be getting less for more money(because they charge more for accelerators) This is an attempt to load more crap onto your PC disguised as a useful program. This is nothing more than bad breath. They don't use or need the security loop-hole to install as you describe above, because you just gave them the legitimate avenue in which to pull the same tricks on you. They don't have to be deceitful.

  18. Maxwolf says:

    Google had a good public image and then they go and do something like that? Remeber kids! Just say no to toolbars!

  19. TPK_29 says:

    there is one feature i like about google's toolbar though and that's their auto-fill. it's very convenient if you do a lot of form filling online. besides that.. everything else is pretty much repetitives of any othe regular toolbars.

  20. roj says:

    I actively dislike bundles - the only thing that makes them palatable is if you have the choice to NOT install them.

    I'm not fond of WinZip to begin with - in today's world with a plethora of more competent free options available, it's seriously passe - and this endears it to me even less.

    And no, I don't - and won't - use the Google Toolbar, or any toolbar for that matter.

    • zridling says:

      Yet another example of someone not reading the article. Nate Mook, you should be ashamed of this sloppy, slanted report. Just use WinRAR, which has proven to be a far more reliable format than ZIP time after time after time.

  21. horsecharles says:

    Get real, naysayers: there's nothing wrong-- immorally / legally with bundling... as long as there are optouts & uninstallers, AND no 'documented' security/privacy breaches.

    I'd recommend desktop search to anyone AND to dismiss any of its potential Orwellian concerns-- not using it is very disadvantageous: like not having a lot of the crucial data we've spent precious time saving, the main obstacle these days being information overload & time management.

    And yes, there are & have been for a while-- several way better alternatives to WinZip... and free to boot.

  22. umopapisdn says:

    I've read all of the posts to date and feel the desire to put in my two cents. The Google of yesteryear appeals to a very specific group of people - nerds. I'm not trying to be mean... by that standard, *I* am a nerd. The fact of the matter is, they hide a lot of their features... and many features require intellect to use.

    Not many people know that, in Google, if you precede your search by the word "book" and a space, you will get all of the print-book results. (i.e., "book boundaries") Most non-nerds need nerds to hold their hands through such "command line" functions like this. My mom (for instance) is a non-nerd... she does not have the Google toolbar (and likely doesn't know it even exists, or even what a toolbar is)... and she probably isn't quite sure what Gmail is. She does, however, have the AOL toolbar and the Yahoo toolbar installed. She didn't make this choice, it "just happened."

    Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, and the like have been marketing to non-nerds for years. As a result, they've got that market cornered. They do this by "bundling." They're not trying to "trick" people into installing their software. The only people who are being "tricked" are non-nerds. Nerds always know to click the "Advanced" or "Custom Install" buttons, and turn on and off the features really desired. Non-nerds only know to click the "Next" or "Typical Install" buttons.

    So, I don't feel there is anything "wrong" or "evil" about Google marketing to non-nerds by bundling their software. It doesn't use some sort of security loophole to install itself (like most spyware/adware,) and it does not require its software to be installed for the primary software to function (like many adware programs,) and it does not try to hide itself or reinstall itself when an uninstall attempt is tried. It is just a simple software bundle, just like when photo editing software comes with a scanner.

    In my opinion, the ways Google is "doing no evil" is by NOT charging money in areas where they easily could have. They could have released Gmail with 100 megs of storage, and charged $20 per year for 1 gig of space. They could charge a premium for those who want access to the satellite imagery within Google Maps. They could have sold Google Desktop Search as a 14-day free trial software, with a $29.99 activation fee for the "pro" version which allows the installation of plugins. They didn't. They give more and more for free. They usually only attempt to make money off of those who use their services to make money.

    Do you think Microsoft's Desktop Search is better? Are you happy that AOL gives 2 gigs of email space now? That's awesome, and it's your choice. Isn't it great, though, that Google stepped outside of the box to lead the way for all of these other companies to also step outside of the box, to make the customer first. Do you really think Yahoo and AOL would have decided to give a gig or more of space for free if Gmail had never come to light? Kudos to Yahoo and AOL and Microsoft to follow Google's lead. Kudos to Google for starting a new trend in more powerful free software from money-earning corporations.

    It makes no sense to bash Google just for trying to earn the money required to continue to provide more and more free stuff. Just enjoy the free stuff, or ignore it altogether. The choice is yours. (FYI, Gmail is technically more than 2 gigs now. The storage allowance goes up every second.)

  23. ukexpat says:

    Most of the comments here, and the tone of this story itself, are nonsense. This is not stealth marketing or anything underhand. If you don't want to install the Google Toolbar or Desktop Search when you install Winzip, simply uncheck the relevant boxes. These apps are not being installed secretly -- the user has the choice whether to insall them or not. What's the problem with that?

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