Originally published: December 13, 2010
Last updated: December 13, 2010 - 6:33pm
What's the difference between Amazon's and Google's e-book stores? Not price. Not selection. But even if Google's e-book store offers no better prices, selection, or functionality than Amazon's Kindle Store, isn't it true Google's e-books are more "open" than Amazon's? The store's tag line promises that Google's books will "set your reading free." In a blog post, the company touts that its books are as portable as photos or e-mail -- you can access them on "just about any device" using nothing more than your Google username and password.
Openness, it seems, is central to Google's push to become the Web's pre-eminent e-book seller. Google's e-books are "open" in the same way that politicians are "bipartisan" and oil companies are "green"—the claim makes for good marketing, even if it lacks substance. Buying from Google rather than Amazon will give you no greater control over your books. You're not likely to get any practical benefit from going with Google, either. In fact, Amazon's "closed" books will soon work on more devices than Google's "open" books.
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