Thursday, March 19, 2009

bluray (sadly) sold seperately

it looks like sony inked a deal with google to get a half million public domain texts made available to its kindle-like reader.

"'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."

i admit that the Kindle has "the public's mind share" at the moment, and that it is (according to the reviews i've read) a better piece of hardware, but ultimately, i get the feeling that Sony is trying to tap into the idea of openess as opposed to the proprietary ideas driving much of the Kindle's content problems. the times article plays down this aspect of the coming e-reader wars (???), to its detriment.


  1. e-reader wars. . .

    Sigh, I still have battle fatigue from the hi-def dvd war. And I didn't even participate.

  2. I was just talking to a co-worker who said he is thinking about buying a Kindle, but he likes doing extensive research first. He's seen the Sony reader. I think there are actual stores that sell these, so you can hold one before making the purchase. He wasn't that impressed with the Sony reader and he hasn't seen the Kindle yet.

    The money is likely to come in the form of the books anyway, at least in the future. I think that's why Amazon made their books able to be read on iPhones. Maybe this competition with Sony will actually encourage Amazon to bring down the cost of its Kindle hardware.

  3. generally, there doesn't seem to be much profit in hardware in and of itself. i know that sony and microsoft sell their gaming platforms for close to the cost of making them, sometimes even losing money in the process, and then make a killing licensing games, subscription services, and other ephemera.

    the money's in the content, which is why amazon, with its huge cache of readily available ebooks, is so far in front.