A few months ago I wrote about the fact that the Amazon Kindle did not support local public library offerings through Overdrive while the Sony Reader did. Since then we have seen the Barnes & Noble Nook and other ebook readers appear that all support local public library content. Local libraries provide books through Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) DRM that allow you to check out ebooks for a period up to 14 days. After hearing about the Kindle firmware update provided yesterday for the 2nd generation Kindle devices with PDF support I was hoping Amazon was finally opening up a bit. That hope was quickly dashed though after doing a bit of research and finding out that ADE is still not supported on the Kindle.
With ebook readers like the Nook, Sony Reader, Astek PocketPro, and others moving towards supporting the same content types, including ADE, I am starting to wonder if the Amazon Kindle can continue to stand alone with proprietary content. I am thankful for the Kindle because it drove down new books to a reasonable price and showed others how you could wirelessly browse for and purchase books. Others have now surpassed the Kindle with WiFi and 3G wireless access, the ability to share books across platforms, the ability to read ebooks across platforms, and the ability to let you read unlimited ebooks through your local library system for free. Everyone, but Amazon, seems to be standardizing on ADE PDF and EPUB file formats for a cross platform experience.