The Rise of the E-Book

By , May 17, 2010 5:20 pm

by Philippe Cloutier

It all started with the Kindle and Amazon, now the flames are fanning with Apple and the iPad, and this summer an enveloping cloud of smoke and fire will take shape with Google’s e-book endeavor. A significant difference between these competitors is apparent, Amazon and Apple sell hardware and content, where Google looks to sell only content. Google tried their hands in the physical realm of cell-phone devices with the Nexus One and in short: flopped. Their business model rests in the clouds of data they control on the Internet (thanks in part to libraries around the world who offered their collections for scanning). With a hardware lesson and a digital book archive like no other in hand, Google will become a powerhouse in the e-book era.

While a new age of e-books is beginning, we must remain aware of existing privacy issues with Google in general, and specifically, with Google Books. The policies surrounding their upcoming foray are unknown. However, we do know Google’s privacy/copyright history leaves room for improvement. We’ll find out this summer, as Google rolls out their book market, if the right privacy pieces and policies are in place. Yet, no matter how the legal battles take shape or are resolved, e-books are shifting out of niche markets and towards more accessible and easier to use forms. More importantly, consumer options are abounding from proven tech companies with billions to spend. E-books may not affect us today but tomorrow will be a different story.

One Response to “The Rise of the E-Book”

  1. Robyn says:

    Yay, Philippe! Good article on a very timely subject! 🙂

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