Amazon says customers will be able to read Kindle books on their PCs. But is the company lagging a step behind the Barnes and Noble Nook?
Hey, we're all for interconnectivity. Most people are. So we can get behind the news that Amazon is opening up its Kindle books to PC users. It makes sense – no longer will that copy of "War and Peace" be confined to your Kindle. Instead, you'll be able to access the book at home, on your PC, or at work, on your laptop.
According to Amazon, the whole sync-up program will be pretty easy to access. In about a month's time, Amazon is set to roll out a free download; click on the download, and presto, you're synced. The Kindle PC program "automatically synchronizes your last page read and annotations between devices with Whispersync," Amazon says. The program is available for pre-order now.
It's worth noting, of course, that Amazon is way behind its competitors on the PC sync option. The Sony Reader already allows users interconnectivity, and so does the Barnes and Noble Nook, which was unveiled this week to great fanfare. Clearly, it's the Nook that Amazon should be most worried about.
As we noted on Tuesday, the Nook is a serious contender. And it's soaked up a surfeit of blog buzz. Coverage of a Nook event in New York City dominated the publishing and tech blogs for days, with many pundits claiming that Barnes and Noble had clearly bested Amazon.
Among the features on the Nook are a 3.5-inch multi-touch color display – the Kindle has only a touch-pad – 2GB of built-in memory, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Most important: Amazon sells over 300,000 digital titles for the Kindle. By comparison, Barnes and Noble has put the finishing touches on an electronic bookstore which will sell more than 700,000 titles.