Google Distributes Apps on Lexar Drives

Google will distribute some of its desktop applications on USB Flash Drives through an agreement with Lexar Media.

When they plug their JumpDrives into a USB drive for the first time, Lexar buyers will be 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.

The products will be offered with several USB drives across all memory sizes. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The arrangement serves as a reminder of the importance of desktop software — which acts as a loyalty device and a driver of more search queries — to Google’s growth strategy. In October it struck a deal with Sun to bundle its toolbar with downloads of its Java Runtime Environment.

“While these popular applications have traditionally been available on the Web directly from Google and other Web affiliates, offering them on a Lexar JumpDrive provides a new channel to reach customers,” said Steffen Hellmold, VP of USB flash drives at Lexar, in a statement.

Google could immediately be reached for comment.

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