Amazon probably isn’t happy about Google’s new eBookstore. In reaction to Google’s e-book announcement, spokespeople for the online retailer told Computerworld that tomorrow Amazon will announce new features for the Kindle that will “enable users to read full books in the browser and [enable] any Website to become a bookstore offering Kindle books.”
Surprisingly, those are two exact features that Google’s eBookstore has that the Kindle currently lacks. The new additions should put Amazon at an advantage in the months ahead. While Google and Amazon appear evenly matched on features, Amazon is a couple generations ahead in its mobile software and also has the most popular e-book reader, the Kindle, which has been on the market for several years. Some have estimated that Amazon owns 50 percent of the dedicated e-reader market with the Kindle. Google has no dedicated e-reading hardware to lean on.
Who will win is hard to say. “Both are powerful players,” said Allen Weiner, an analyst at Gartner. “Whether there’s a big battle between Google and Amazon depends on what Amazon does next. If Amazon is serious about the device space, they are going to have to open up devices … whether that is based on Windows or Android or something else.” Later he elaborated, saying that Google has to “prove to be a worthy competitor to Amazon, which has years with a global footprint, really strong apps on every device and a great brand.”
Who’s side are you on: Google, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble, which is also trying a similar approach?