Sunday, October 25, 2009

The winter is heating up for e-book readers

Amazon isn't going to be rolling over for the nook or any other ebook readers. In November, Amazon plans to release a free software application that will allow people to read Amazon ebooks on their computers. According to the LA Times, the software will run on Microsoft's new Windows 7 as well as the older Vista and XP, expanding Amazon's customer base exponentially.

In January, at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Plastic Logic will unveil the QUE. The QUE is geared toward businesspeople and will support PDF, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel and "features the largest touchscreen in the industry." 

In February, Entourage will start shipping the eDGe, a dual ebook reader with a netbook on one side and an e-reader on the other. According to Fast Company, the eDGe will support the open e-Pub standard and read PDFs. And via ghacks, I learned that the eDGe has a webcam and microphone, built in speakers, allows you to browse the internet and write e-mails, and supports Mp3, MP4 and 3GP file formats. It also comes with a hefty price tag of $490, more than $200 above the price of the Kindle or the nook.

One thing seems to be certain - we'll be seeing more and more manufacturers coming out with e-book readers as the market heats up. According to Forrester Research, 3 million e-readers will be sold in 2009 and up to 10 million will be sold in 2010 (via Read Write Web).

If you're confused by all this talk about e-readers, check out this cool graphic on TechFlash of the ebook universe, as it is today.

(Hat tip to Helene Blowers of LibraryBytes for the info which inspired and informed this post.)