Inside the E-book Wars: Sony Turns up the Heat

By William Stanek
December 9, 2009

William Stanek here, delivering a new installment in my "Inside the E-book Wars" series. As I let you know in earlier posts, Barnes & Noble began shipping the Nook and Sony began shipping the Reader Daily Edition (PRS-900) in time for the 2009 holiday season. Both readers have wireless, touchscreen and expansion capabilities. Demand for the readers has been very high, so high that shipping dates rapidly pushed into the new year.

On December 11, 2009, Sony delivered/delivers new salvos in the ebook wars--a series of one-two punches to the competition. First, Sony has created an all new ebook store, the Reader Store (readerstore.sony.com). The store has a new look and new features.

ReaderStore.PNG

Second, with the launch of the new store, Sony moves away from its proprietary Broadband for Ebooks (BBeB) format to the industry standard EPUB format. Sony has reformatted its entire inventory to use EPUB and all titles in the Reader Store use EPUB.

Third, Sony is delivering a new version of its Reader Library software: version 3.1. The new reader library software supports Windows PCs and Macintosh and the EPUB format.

For anyone with a Sony Reader, these are BIG changes and GOOD ones. However, to get the new features and EPUB formatted titles, you'll need to download and install the Reader Library software version 3.1 or later. Once you do this, all titles you buy/download from the Reader Store will be in EPUB format. You'll continue to be able to use any titles you have purchased and downloaded previously. These previously purchased and downloaded titles are formatted in BBeB. If you re-download the titles in the future, they'll be in EPUB format.

For anyone with another reader or a Windows/Mac computer, these are BIG changes and GOOD ones as well. You'll continue to be able to read Sony titles on your computer (and likely on your reader if it supports EPUB). As with Sony Reader users, to get the new features and EPUB formatted titles, you'll need to download and install the Reader Library software version 3.1 or later. Once you do this, all titles you buy/download from the Reader Store will be in EPUB format. You'll continue to be able to use any titles you have purchased and downloaded previously. These previously purchased and downloaded titles are formatted in BBeB. If you re-download the titles in the future, they'll be in EPUB format.

Such a cool development and good to see Sony turn up the heat on the competition!

Thanks for reading, time for me to get back to work! Hope you'll take a look at my new book Windows 7: The Definitive Guide. Also just released is my book Exchange Server 2010 Administrator's Pocket Consultant.

William R. Stanek
williamstanek at aol dot com


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