Google Editions : Kiss your eReaders goodbye!


If you are rushing to buy an 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.

Image source dullhunk

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!!!

[Reproduced from TGF blog]

  1. Anand S says


    So here is the deal. Google eReader also uses a DRM protected ePub format backed by Adobe content server. It is no more “open” than the Nook (ePub to ePub comparison).

    The difference being Google takes a HTML / Java based approach to render the reader in a browser. Now, Amazon says it will support it as well.

    “Open” and “DRM” don’t mix. The free books are all open and you can get them for free from any e-book store. The “DRM”ed books will be crippled one way or the other.

    With the farcical “open”ness out of the way,

    So, when it comes to DRM protected formats, you pick and choose a device that you like that works on all the formats you want.

  2. Anand S says

    The beauty of the mobi format is you can read it on most devices. That’s what I care about. While I prefer open formats, I’ll take a clossd format that’s convenient and good to read.

    The title of your blog “Kiss your e-readers goodbye ” is contrary to your theory. You should have named it “Kiss your mobi format goodbye.

    If you’ve never used a e-ink reader, that confirms my lame comment. You should do long form reading before you blog.

  3. Sriram Vadlamani says

    Anand : I agree with the eInk part of the eReader. As far as ‘lame post’ goes, you are entitled to your opinion. Who is suggesting to read a book on a backlit screen?

    The point I am trying to make in the post is, how the eBooks are distributed in proprietary format. If you want an eBook and don’t have a Kindle or a Nook then you are potentially locked in. That will change with Google Editions as it can be read on any device including your favorite Kindle. As far as the hardware choice goes, let the user decide.

    The slogan “No eBook if you don’t have a Kindle or Nook” is a little discriminatory. Don’t you think?

    PS : Have I read a book on an eReader? Answer : No

    PPS : When was the last time I read a 800 page book on a backlit monitor? Answer : The only thing I use my monitor (with all the paraphernalia, of course) is to read and write. Is it 800 page? I am more interested in reading than counting.

  4. Anand S says

    What a lame post!

    Have you read a book on an e-reader?

    Reading on a browser on a backlit screen? Are you kidding me? When was the last time you read a 800 page book on a backlit monitor?

    Before you ask, I just finished reading a 400 page ebook on my kindle in 2 sittings.

  5. Neville Misquitta says

    Open Access/Source is the way to go. Never could understand why I needed to buy something to do something else. With browsers already ‘browsing’ most things on the net it was just a question of time for that attempt at monoply to die.

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