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Google Editions Set to Change the Way You Read Electronically

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December 01, 2010

Google Editions Set to Change the Way You Read Electronically

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Look out Kindle, Google has something new up its sleeve. According to a Yahoo! Tech blog, Google (News - Alert) wants to be sure you can receive your e-books on any device, whether it is a desktop PC or a smartphone. One of the few things all devices will have in common is their ability to access a Web browser.

Google Editions is finally ready to launch and the Internet giant anticipates the launch will be complete before the end of the year. When the platform finally goes live, this shouldn’t give you access to simply one Google Editions e-book store. Instead, expect a whole new market with hundreds of players and independent booksellers who will jump at the chance to sell Google e-books on their own websites and share in the revenue.

Expect to find prices for e-books through Google Editions to be roughly the same as they are on Amazon’s Kindle store, Apple’s iBooks app and through Barnes & Noble’s digital bookstore. A number of large book publishers are expected to participate. Users will also be excited to see millions of free virtual volumes ready to go live.

Google Edition e-books will be accessible from a wide variety of Web-based sources. As a result, readers will be able to browse through their purchased e-books just about anywhere, on anything with just about any Web browser. While this all sounds like a great idea and easy accessibility, the outlook is not completely rosy.

The idea of anywhere access on any device is great, but what if you cannot connect to the Internet? The e-book saved on a reader ensures that you really do have anytime access – as long as you have the reader along with you. This is especially true on the subway or in other locations where signals are currently unavailable.

There is also the potential failure if the Google servers go down. No, it doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen and it will leave readers in the dark – literally. There is also something significant to be said about the e-paper displays of the readers that are easy to read in direct sunlight. Have you tried to read anything on your iPhone (News - Alert) on a bright day? No thank you!

This will be a fascinating phenomenon to watch as Google Editions is sure to gain a significant following, yet shortcomings are likely to be highlighted upon launch. Will this platform dominate?
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

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