Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Okay, even though I see great potential ( for Amazon's Kindle ( electronic book reader, I must wonder if it can, or if it's even possible, to overcome the perception of books as property and convince people to think of them as data to be accessed.

The Amazon folks have been very deliberate in their effort to describe Kindle as a service, not a device. The physical product is a device, but it's a medium to access data. That access is what they're selling.

Likewise, when you buy a book for the Kindle, you're actually buying the right to read that book. The data resides primarily on Amazon's server and temporarily on the Kindle for access. On the plus side, you can't lose the books. If your Kindle is destroyed, you can buy another to regain access to all your books.

However, barring loss or destruction, books do last a long time and are freely transferable. Your rights to Kindle ebooks have an undetermined lifespan and are non-transferable. If Amazon loses the right to distribute a book, you could lose the right to read it, since the data resides primarily on their server. When you're done with a book, you can't give it to someone else.

Understanding and accepting these differences will be difficult for many people. However, I'm sure there is also a good number who will embrace the shift. But I think this shift in thinking, more than its price or unattractiveness, is the major obstacle to its success.

CateGoogles: mobile_tech
Mood = concerned


Why Amazon's Kindle could fail


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