So you bought a new PC for yourself or a relative during the holidays. There was the initial excitement about its speed and the nice screen – and then it came time to actually get it running. Which meant embarking on some real work -– downloading a browser, a couple of multimedia players, a PDF reader, a toolbar, and maybe something for voice and instant messaging. Don’t forget the anti-spyware and anti-virus apps – you’ve got to have those. Hours, maybe even days, go by. How many wizards have you clicked through, not to mention license agreements and preference pickers? And then you have to ask: did I get everything? And how am I going to keep all of this up to date?

This was the experience both Sergey and Larry had a year ago. And they’re computer guys, after all. Which led them to ask more of us to make it easier for everyone. So we created the Google Pack -- a one-stop software package that helps you discover, install, and maintain a wide range of essential PC programs. It’s yours today – and it’s something we hope you find to be painless, easy, and even fun (if computer setup can ever be called that). And it’s free.

We worked with a number of technology companies to identify products that are the best of their type to create this suite. (We didn’t pay them, and they aren’t paying us.) For PC users running Windows XP, it downloads in minutes and installs in just a few clicks. There’s only one license agreement – and no wizards. And there’s a new tool called the Google Updater that keeps all the software in the Google Pack current. Even if you already have some of the software in the Pack, you can use the Google Updater to update and manage it.

There’s one more thing in the Pack that we think you’ll like. The Pack team asked people what kind of screensavers they like best. They kept saying, “I want my own photos as a screensaver, why can’t I do that?” Good question -- lots of people have trouble with this. So we made the Google Pack Screensaver, which is the easiest possible way to make your photos into an animated photo collage. And now the question for you is: what will you do with all that time you've saved?