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Summary:

Kindle for PC Demo on Windows 7 Want to read e-books from Amazon on hardware you likely already have? There’s an app for that but it doesn’t come from Cupertino. At a Windows 7 launch event today, Amazon introduced a Kindle application for PCs that will […]


Kindle for PC Demo on Windows 7

Want to read e-books from Amazon on hardware you likely already have? There’s an app for that but it doesn’t come from Cupertino. At a Windows 7 launch event today, Amazon introduced a Kindle application for PCs that will be available next month. Like the Kindle for iPhone application, the PC software works with Amazon’s Whispersync — stop reading your book on a Kindle or iPhone and you can pick up right where you left off on a computer. And if you’re out of content, Amazon says you can purchase books right from the PC.

The new application also takes advantage of the native touchscreen support in Windows 7, although you’ll need a touchscreen computer, of course. With touch, you can simply swipe through your page flips or, if you have a multitouch computer with Windows 7, you can zoom in and out by pinching. That’s a great implementation, but I think the best news of all is legacy compatibility — the new software doesn’t require Windows 7 as it can be used with Windows XP or Vista. As a Kindle owner, I’m looking forward to the new software, which makes the PC a “third screen” for the Kindle. It ought to come in handy on my netbook in the rare case I’ve left the Kindle at home!

kindle-for-pc

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  1. It’d be very useful on my tablet, and pretty much eliminate any need for me to buy a Kindle… if the software is as good as it looks, that is. I haven’t been happy with the state of PC programs so far, but this looks pretty decent.

    Hopefully it’ll also have some sort of fullscreen mode, so that I can read in portrait, like a regular book, without the taskbar or menu or any of that getting in the way.

    Now, if only it had support for the pen for taking full notes, then that’d be perfect… well, that and maybe if it had broad format support (I assume it’ll only work with Kindle files, probably not PDF or ePub or anything of that sort without conversion).

    1. I can’t wait to try this on the x200 myself. It would be a pretty cool reader.

    2. What programs are you using? There is SO MUCH great software for the Windows, from games, to business automation, to commercial to FOSS. You’re simply not looking very hard.

  2. All right! I hope this works with Wine… and/or that there are more ports on the way. :)

  3. Michael Johnston Thursday, October 22, 2009

    I’ll be happier when they support the Macintosh, and I can’t understand why they haven’t even talked about Mac support yet. With some kind of tablet seemingly forthcoming from Cupertino in the months ahead, a Mac-native would really make this whole ecosystem fly much better. Of course, if Amazon fancies themselves as being in the hardware-selling business rather than the book-selling business, they may want to put the brakes on that.

    That said, until there is platform-independence and I can take my content with me from one device to another, I won’t be buying another Kindle or whatever the latest-and-greatest happens to be. I have books I purchased when I owned a Kindle that now sit in electronic limbo, unless you count reading them on an iPhone as practical, which I don’t.

    Books are too important to be controlled by one company. Resist proprietary formats.

    1. Apparently on Facebook they’ve said that the Mac version will come later.

      As for platform independence I agree on that, which is why I purchase eReader books and then remove the DRM.

    2. Maybe because PCs outnumber Macs about 10 to 1 world wide. They announced they are working on a Mac version. Remember they are trying to sell more content and the PC is a much bigger market.

  4. free as in speech or free as in beer.

    free as in beer: meh.

    free as in speech: great, hopefully someone will port it to linux (and Maemo), Mac, and Android now :-)

  5. I’ve read ebooks on a variety of platforms, and I’m very skeptical that many people will read books on desktops, laptops or, even, netbooks. It just isn’t comfortable.

    I have an IBM/Lenovo X41 Tablet PC, and it’s okay in portrait mode for reading ebooks, but it’s still relatively heavy.

    I can see Tablets (without keyboards) as a much better vehicle for ebooks. Some phones are okay for reading, but most people won’t read on small screens. I’d like to try reading ebooks on my N900, but I suspect Amazon isn’t rushing to offer software for Maemo 5!

    So, I’m very interested in learning in, say, six months, whether a significant number of people are reading Kindle books on keyboard-based computers.

    1. The underlying assumption many people make is that switching from any analog format (film, music, etc) to a digital one is just better. But I think that books have stubbornly resisted this trend partly because they are so very nearly perfectly conceived as a medium: they’re portable, require no power, are not under the control of one organization, are lendable, and if I so chose, I can sell my copy of a book. Don’t even get me started on the aesthetics and intangibles.

      Switching to a Kindle made me appreciate the elegance of dead-tree publications. I’m under no illusions that books as we have known them won’t, in the coming decades, go the way of the dodo bird to a large extent; but I think before people rush to do so, they may want to consider what they’re giving up in the bargain.

  6. I pre-ordered the B&N Nook but now i’m wondering if I should cancel and maybe order a Win7 netbook tablet like the Archos 9. I could ues the new Kindle reader or the B&N eReader plus have full web browsing. I already have a MiFi for internet access. I’m so confused again…

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