Amazon’s timing is impeccable, particularly if the tech giant is trying to take the wind out of Google’s sails; Google just launched its own e-reading, e-bookstore platform today.
An Amazon rep said in an e-mail to ComputerWorld that the new version of the web app is intended to “enable users to read full books in the browser and any website to become a bookstore offering Kindle books” — exactly what Google E-books aims to do with its own platform. The previous version of Kindle for Web, as the app is properly called, was not nearly as noteworthy, allowing users to read only first-chapter previews of books online.
The Kindle family of hardware and software is growing faster than any of its competitors. Kindle came to the iPhone and iPod touch back in the spring of 2009; the novelty of having one kind of hardware that could have the functionality of another kind of hardware via a piece of software was lost on no one.
This year, Amazon added apps for iPad and Android, as well as a few other mobile platforms; we also saw Kindle desktop apps for PC and Mac. and its most recent iteration of the Kindle hardware is the fastest-selling of any Kindle version.
We’re sure Amazon’s proud of that fact, but we wonder who might win in a war between web-based e-booksellers: Google or Amazon. Let us know what you think in the comments.