Who needs an e-reader or a special app when I've already got the only e-reader/app that I need: a Web browser?
Google said today that it will launch in the first half of next year an online store to offer e-books that can be read on any device with a Web browser, according to a Reuters report. Yup, that means e-book reading comes to the browser on your desktop, laptop, iPhone and probably even some WiFi-enabled handheld gaming devices.
That feels like a pretty big blow to the likes of Amazon, which has made a name in e-book readers with its popular Kindle brand, Sony and now even Barnes and Noble, which is expected to announce an e-reader of its own at a New York City event next week.
Google Editions will initially include e-books from publishers it already partners with and customers will be able to buy e-books from Google or an online book store such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble. (Oh, the irony of it all.)
Forrester media analyst Sarah Rotman Epps told Reuters that Google's entry doesn't necessarily mean that it will steal share from Amazon - largely because the "Kindle" and "e-reader" already go hand-in-hand in the minds of many consumers. Plus, there have been price drops on the readers, making them even more attractive for serious readers.
This will also be a revenue-generator for Google's books projects. It will share revenue of e-book sales with publishers.