updated 07:50 am EST, Tue December 7, 2010
Amazon to add full books in Kindle for Web
Amazon late Monday said it would preview a version of Kindle for the Web on Tuesday that will show full books. Previously limited to samples, the embedded technology won't insist on reading offline and will also decentralize shopping. Any site could "become a bookstore offering Kindle books," it told Computerworld.
The statement is a direct response to the Google eBookstore, which went live on Monday and is already delivering the same features, including sales away from its home website. Amazon hasn't said whether it will follow the Google model and give independents a cut of the purchase, although it's implied that they would have some control. Independent booksellers have complained that the e-book market is currently very centralized and often locks them out of sales without the resources to run a shop or the ability to make their own devices.
A true web viewer would also indirectly open up the proprietary Kindle platform by letting any web-capable device, such as a tablet, access books without a native app. Amazon would still provide an optimized experience through hardware like the Kindle reader and native apps for mobile platforms but could claim more universal support.