If you are rushing to buy a eReader, like I am, then you might have to wait. Given the speed at which Google executes, the wait will not be longer. Google will be launching Google Editions which is a eBook selling platform from many eTailers and retailers. You can buy the book and read it. All you need is a browser with an internet connection. No iPad, no Kindle or no Nook is needed.
Irony is Google doesn’t have a dog in this fight. There is no eReader from Google in this race and yet it is so secure to offer this. You can read a book bought from Google Editions on a Kindle or an iPad. That is what openness can bring. It can bring possibilities. These are the possibilities which only companies like Google can think of. These are also the possibilities which companies like Apple loathe.
You might listen Steve Jobs coming on to the next Apple’s earnings call and talk about how fragmented the ebook market is. The rant might be something like this – “People are reading it from browsers on old pentium desktops, from laptops, from iPhones, Kindles, iPads and Android phones. This whole thing is a mess. There is no standard.” I am not as eloquent as Mr. Jobs is, but you get the point.
Sorry Mr. Jobs and Mr. Bezos, I am with Google on this one. I never understood the proprietary formats. I wanted to buy an eBook and did not own a Kindle or any eReader. I am ready to pay for the price of the book and they want to sell a piece of hardware too. What’s wrong with providing me a simple secured pdf or something of that sort which cannot be easily pirated? Never got the answer to that question. So I installed the Kindle for iPhone and started buying books so that I can read on my desktop and the phone. Yes they did win a customer. But not a loyal one. You can easily guess that the next ebook I purchase will not be from Amazon store or iBooks.
Open always wins.