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Google to offer video, software downloads

Rumours abound at CES

According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited sources familiar with the matter, Google plans to announce a new service tomorrow that will allow consumers to buy and download videos from its website, as well as a downloadable bundle of software applications.

"We aren't commenting on any new planned services," a Google spokeswoman said. "All we're saying is that we have a number of exciting announcements that we will be make on Friday at the Consumer Electronics Show."

As part of a major upgrade to Google's video-search service, consumers will be able to pay to download and view videos, such as television programmes, on their computer from Google content partners such as TV companies, according to the report. The firm is also said to be announcing partnerships with some major players, including CBS and the National Basketball Association.

In addition, the California search company is reportedly planning to announce Google Pack, a bundle of software from itself and other companies that consumers will be able to download and install on their computers. The software bundle will include the open source Firefox web browser, a version of Norton AntiVirus software from Symantec, Adobe's Reader software and RealNetworks' RealPlayer multimedia software.

The release of Google Pack comes as Google and Microsoft, both battling for users of online services, view applications that direct users to online services as a powerful tool.

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