The E-Book Challenge: Amazon Versus Google

On Morning Edition on NPR:

The book industry as we know it is changing, and publishers are hoping that Google, the latest contender eyeing the electronic book market, has the clout to give the Amazon Kindle a run for its money.

Though the Kindle makes it incredibly easy for consumers to buy a book in seconds — anywhere, anytime — from Amazon's online store, Michael Powell of Powell's Books in Portland, Ore., says the device leaves traditional booksellers "totally out in the cold."

"We can sit and press our nose against the window, but we cannot play a role in that," says Powell.

Powell notes that bookstore owners are not Luddites; his store has a sophisticated Web site, and he wants to be able to take advantage of new technology as it becomes available. If he's not able to do so with the Kindle, he hopes that Google might just give bookstores what they need.

Full story here.

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Good for Google

It'll be fascinating to see how Google manages all the business partnerships the plan would require. Or will they bring in their scanning expertise and have everything on their servers? Anyway, here's another instance of cloud-computing providing a more universal customer experience, with the browser as the platform.

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