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.
It has been a long time since Google officially broke the news about its browser-based eReader project. Google Editions is regarded to be a disruptive new entrant to the ebook reader segment that is quite heavily dominated by players like Amazon. But unlike the current players who insist on proprietary hardware and software for enabling access to content, Google is planning on offering an open “read from anywhere” tool that can be accessed from any device that can connect to the internet via a web browser.
The project was earlier supposed to launch in the summer of this year, but got delayed due to technial and legal issues. Google has now confirmed that Editions shall be launching by the end of this year in the United States. Other countries are expected to get access to Editions by the first quarter of next year.
It will be interesting to see how Amazon and the rest of the eReader market react to this launch. Will customers be ready to ditch the eReader for the browser? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.
The company is reportedly in conversation with several independent book publishers to launch a cloud-based digital book store that could double up as your library – in the cloud.
So here is the background to the story. eBook readers or eReaders as they are commonly called are soon becoming a popular platform for users to read books. The success of the Kindle, Nook and now the iPad shows that eReaders are here to stay. However, the digital book collection has so far been closed which means that in many cases, users may not easily switch between different eReaders without significant effort in migrating all their digital collection.
The new Google Editions could be a massive digital book store from where users may purchase their ebooks. These ebooks are then stored in the cloud and may be accessed from any device of choice. For instance, you may start reading a book on your PC, then migrate to your iPhone while commuting at work and then complete reading it on your Kindle at night. Wait, Kindle may not be the right example since Google and Amazon are reportedly still in discussion. Nevertheless, the content purchased from Google Editions may be accessed from any device with internet access.
Google has officially announced its plans to launch a web browser based eReader that will take on the present crop of ebook reading devices like Kindle, Nook and iPad without an actual physical device. Unlike these devices, Google’s virtual bookstore is based completely on the web browser which means users may be able to access the store from any device that can connect to the internet – Laptop, cellphone or anything else.
The launch is expected to happen in late June or early July and Google Editions is expected to give its Google Books product a fresh lease of life. An open access to your bookshelf from anywhere and anytime – that’s the way companies need to solve problems. Not by locking devices.