Under the snappy tagline of “Every Website Can Now Be a Bookstore,” Amazon has launched its own web-based e-reader service in an attempt to compete with Google who earlier this week launched its eBooks and eBookstore.
When we saw Google eBooks launched earlier this week we wondered if it would have Amazon quaking in its books. Well, it seems no is the definitive answer. Instead Amazon seems to have been working closely with the search giant and last night displayed its Kindle for the Web app for the first time at a major Google press conference – running on Google’s Chrome OS and embedded in Google’s Chrome Web Store. No sour grapes here then.
Kindle for the Web enables customers to read full text of Kindle books in their web browser - no download or installation required and just like the Google model, independent websites will become portals for the sale of ebooks for the Kindle. Two months ago, Amazon launched a beta version of Kindle for the Web, which allowed readers to access for free the first chapters of books through the web. Last night’s announcement will mean the service will expand to enable anyone with access to a web browser to buy and read full Kindle books.
"Kindle for the Web makes it possible for bookstores, authors, retailers, bloggers or other website owners to offer Kindle books on their websites and earn affiliate fees for doing so," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Kindle Content. "Anyone with access to a web browser can discover the seamless and consistent experience that comes with Kindle books.
The update to Kindle for the Web was demonstrated on-stage at the Google Chrome event last night, and will support Chrome OS devices, including the new Chrome OS Notebook, as well as the Chrome browser and other web browsers. The browser based service will compliment the other range of devices which can read Kindle books including Amazon’s propreitary reader, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, BlackBerrys, PCs, Macs and Android-based devices. Allowing other website owners to offer Kindle books from their own sites and earn referral fees is sure to open up Kindle books to a lot of readers.
In a statement Amazon said: “Kindle for the Web will be available in the coming months,” and if you are looking for more information you can check out its website. We are hoping the Kindle for the Web service will be available in the UK as well as the US after the eBookstore was launched only in the US so far. We’ll keep you updated about the service going live when we get it.