Curse of the Google Software Distributors

By Steve Bryant  |  Posted 2006-07-07 Print this article Print

First an exploding Dell laptop, then overheating Lexar flash drives. Are Google software distributors going up in flames?

Dell, which distributes the Google Toolbar, made the news last month when a Dell laptop exploded at a conference in Japan, spewing flames and sparks and burning a tablecloth. Fast forward to this week, when the U.S. CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) said another Google software distributor, Lexar, is voluntarily recalling its JumpDrive Firefly and 1GB Secure II external flash drive devices due to overheating.

Both of those flash drives include free Google Desktop, Google Toolbar and Picasa software.

A Lexar representative said the company's had no complaints about Google's software, and that the problems with overheating flash drives were "a hardware thing."

Google representatives did not immediately return requests for information.

Dell announced its agreement in May to distribute the Google Toolbar on its computers. Lexar announced that it would distribute some of Google's desktop applications on Lexar's flash drives last December.

Lexar buyers plugging their drives in for the first time are prompted with instructions to install several Google products, including Picasa, Google Toolbar and Google Desktop Search. If a user accepts the prompt, the applications automatically download and are then deleted from the drive. |

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