Thursday, March 19, 2009
Google and Sony partner to take on Amazon
An article from Forbes explains that Google and Sony have announced that they will partner to make 500,000 of the public domain books from Google's Book Search scanning initiative available for free via the Sony eBook Store in EPUB format. This is interesting news because this is Google’s first move into the e-reader space and they have elected to go with Sony which uses open standard format over Amazon’s proprietary offerings. Until now, Google has only offered the scanned books via PDF format which does not display well on e-readers. With the EPUB files, the text will reflow and adapt to fit various screen sizes. Additionally, consumers do not even need to own a Sony Reader to benefit from this partnership because the files can be used on any device with EPUB software and even on Amazon Kindles with the proper conversion software. This move signifies a step forward for the adoption of the EPUB open format standard for e-book distribution and away from propriety formats which has hindered consumer adoption. In addition, according to another posting on Teleread, Google plans make the additional one million books in their library available in EPUB format as well.