Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
3/19/2009
06:06 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Sony Stocks Its Shelves With Google E-Books

The deal is sure to get the attention of Amazon, which has been building its Kindle e-book device into a respectable business.


The latest model of the Sony Reader will cost $100 more than older model, but include software and hardware enhancements.

Sony Reader Digital Book
(click for larger image)

In yet another sign that tech companies see a market for digital text, Sony on Thursday announced a deal with Google to include over 500,000 public domain books scanned by the search company in Sony's eBook Store.

Sony's deal with Google is sure to get the attention of Amazon.com, which has been building its Kindle e-book device into a respectable business.

Amazon sells more than 245,000 books for the Kindle, as well as assorted newspapers, magazines, and blog content. Sony, which previously had less than half as many titles in its eBook Store, now counts its number of available titles at more than 600,000.

E-books and the publishing industry may actually have a future.

They had a future in the past, too. Back in 1999, Microsoft and Adobe were sold on e-books. Startups like SoftBook and NuvoMedia were trying to sell their first generation e-book reading hardware. At the time, Dick Brass, then Microsoft's VP of technology development, said that the biggest problem with onscreen reading "is that the [electronic] books look like crap."

To solve that problem, Microsoft was pushing its ClearType font technology. But it turned out that other things, like clunky hardware, lack of an e-commerce ecosystem, and too few publishing partners, were the real issues.

Now the devices are better, the e-commerce stores are easier to use, the DRM works better, more publishers are onboard, and the tech industry is trying again.

"We have focused our efforts on offering an open platform and making it easy to find as much content as possible -- from our store or others -- whether that content is purchased, borrowed or free," said Steve Haber, president of the digital reading business division at Sony Electronics, in a statement. "Working with Google, we can offer book lovers another avenue for free books while still providing a seamless experience from our store."

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - September 17, 2014
It doesn't matter whether your e-commerce D-Day is Black Friday, tax day, or some random Thursday when a post goes viral. Your websites need to be ready.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.