Lexar makes flash memory cards for cameras and USB drives (thumbdrives). It's now including Google's toolbar and search applications to its USB flash drives, called JumpDrives, which they'll start selling in January.
Lexar admits that anyone can get the Google apps free off the Internet. So here's the reason Lexar thinks the bundling is a good idea:
Customers who use a JumpDrive would plug the device into a USB port on their computer, where they can choose to automatically install Google products. Lexar said it expects the offering to make it easier for users to search documents, photos, music and other data stored on their JumpDrive.
Lessee. I'm in the store, looking to buy a thumbdrive. Am I going to buy Lexar brand because it includes Google software? No, I going to buy the cheapest one. Or maybe the one that looks the nicest (or most macho).
And am I really going to need to search my thumbdrive to look for files? We're talking only of 2GB (max) of storage, usually for a specific purpose, such as transferring files between computers (hey, SneakerNet is back!) or backing up crucial files.
No, this is more about Lexar hitching its wagon to the current buzz, the Google Economy. The press release notes that one party had to pay the other some money: "financial terms ... were not disclosed". I am guessing Google is subsidizing Lexar to carry their software? Or is Lexar paying Google to include a marketing bonus to help distinguish their products from an otherwise unremarkable market?