We have been following the Google Editions story for quite a while now. We first wrote about this new browser based eReader back in May this year. Since then, the project got delayed by several months to finally launch this month. Interestingly, Google has opted to go with a rather conventional eBookstore rather than ‘Google Editions‘. Writing about it on their blog, Google has noted,
“Google eBooks will be available in the U.S. from a new Google eBookstore. You can browse and search through the largest ebooks collection in the world with more than three million titles including hundreds of thousands for sale.
We designed Google eBooks to be open. Many devices are compatible with Google eBooks—everything from laptops to netbooks to tablets to smartphones to e-readers. With the new Google eBooks Web Reader, you can buy, store and read Google eBooks in the cloud. That means you can access your ebooks like you would messages in Gmail or photos in Picasa—using a free, password-protected Google account with unlimited ebooks storage.”
Given that Google eBookstore is readily accessible from all of the several digital platforms that you and I own, the launch already has given Google a competitive edge against rivals like Apple and Amazon. While the Apple iBookstore is only accessible over iOS devices, Amazon’s Kindle is only accessible over select platforms that run the Kindle app.
While Apple is unlikely to make any major change to their strategy, it will be interesting to see how Amazon’s counters Google’s new launch.