Wednesday, October 21, 2009

E-book competition hots up

I've written several times about e-book readers, especially Amazon's Kindle, and would really like to try one out. They are just becoming available in Europe so maybe I can do so in the not too distant future. Now there's a tough new rival on the scene. I see lots of articles hailing the Kindle's first real competitor - please welcome ladies and gentlemen, in the blue corner, from Barnes & Noble, we give you the Nook!

Yes, the giant US bookseller Barnes & Noble have launched their own e-book reader, the Nook, linking up with their own Wi-Fi network points and able to download e-books from you know who. One attractive feature of the Nook is that it allows users to lend each other e-books (as you would with hard copies) and you can even lend the e-books to friends who have iPhones, iPods or Blackberries as long as they have the necessary B&N software. Sounds promising though I sadly can't find any mention of sharing with a Kindle.

I'm really waiting for a non-proprietary device that allows me to download books from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or whoever else has what I'm looking for. Let's have the freedom of choice in the content and software but not yet more gadgets that are tied to one particular company. Whatever one you choose there's something good that you can't do. The Nook seems a step in the right direction but a long way from making a real breakthrough. I may have to wait a while longer.

Read more at Barnes & Noble, CNN, Read Write Web.

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