Well -- two posts in one day. It must be Friday. :)
I just came across an interesting article about a growing partnership between SONY and Borders for selling ebooks. One aspect of this partnership will be a co-branded ebooks download store -- which might (hopefully) resolve some of the usability issues with Connect. The two also plan to jointly lobby publishers to provide more content for the reader.
Several publishers have recently agreed to provide more ebooks for the device -- including Pearson Education. I am not yet convinced that the device is ready for textbooks, but it is a notable experiment. It should also be a signal to college stores that publishers are interested in new channels. If we can define what the digital channels might look like that include the college store, we increase our chance of avoiding disintermediation.
As a side note -- SONY yesterday posted a position opening for the Director, International Digital Sales and Marketing, out of the Global Digital Business Group. It was not clear from the position posting as to whether this is a new job position, or one that has recently been vacated. We will watch to see who takes the position, however, as we continue to monitor the environment and seek out new potential partnership opportunities for stores.