According to The Christian Science Monitor’s Horizons Blog, Amazon will consolidate its U.S. and international Kindles into one device and reduce the price to match Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader. In addition, Amazon has announced that it will release software to allow Kindle books to be read on PC’s. An advertisement on Amazon’s website notes that consumers do not need to own a Kindle to download the free software. For customers that do own a Kindle, Amazon’s Whispersync technology can be used to synchronize bookmarks and annotations between the devices. Amazon’s Kindle app for the iPhone also uses this technology.
As mentioned in a previous posting, initial reviews from the Kindle DX pilots at universities have been mixed so students may appreciate the ability to read the books on their computers as well. However, it does not look like users will be able to add notes to the text from their PC. The Amazon news release notes that with the Kindle for PC software, users can “view notes and highlights marked on Kindle and Kindle DX.” Students have expressed that the annotation software on the Kindle DX is not as easy to use as taking notes on paper so they would likely appreciate the ability to add notes from their computer keyboard.