First is Kindle, a new e-book reader from Amazon to be available in October at a price between $400 and $500. The main selling-point of this new device is that it will wirelessly connect to an e-book store on Amazon’s site. The surprising news is that the e-books are delivered in a proprietary format, not the format of Mobipocket which Amazon bought in 2005. The Kindle will also come with freebies like reference books and the ability to read RSS feeds. But early users complain about it limited web browser.
Call me skeptical, but this seems like a high price tag for an ebook reader…even one with wifi connectivity. And a butt-ugly one at that…check out the image at Engadget.
The second development comes from Google, who plans to leverage its Book Search feature to bring in some cash. Currently you only get snippets of most books through Book Search. A soon-to-be-released upgrade will allow you to access full versions of some books…for a fee. Publishers will set the prices for their own books and share the revenue with Google.
Now this will be interesting to watch…no new device to but, you only pay for the content which, hopefully, is in some already-established format.
Is this the start of the often-predicted Age of e-books?