Originally Posted by schmidt349
The .epub format is trivial to write an interpreter for. It just has XHTML documents for the text itself, support files (CSS, JS, images in JPEG and GIF), and an easy-to-read XML manifest for the whole thing, all of it wrapped in a ZIP container. All totally industry-standard and the very same stuff we've been running the Web on since 2000.
So why hasn't Amazon pledged to support it in the Kindle?
EPUB also allows "images" in SVG format, which is perhaps pushing the "Web 2000" envelope a bit (but a good addition even so).
Amazon/MobiPocket appears to intend to support EPUB the way they currently support CHM (say). It will be imported into Windows MobiPocket Reader (only) and converted to MOBI. The Kindle could do a similar conversion on Amazon's servers. This is technically a terrible approach, even if MobiPocket upgrades the MOBI format to provide more EPUB compatibility. However, it is understandable from MobiPocket's perspective. When you have support for multiple device types, how do you switch them to a new format? The only possible answer (given limited resources, and an existing code base that probably was not designed for extendability) is first to convert to the old format and second to upgrade the software on each device (one by one) to read the new format natively. I just hope that MobiPocket will get to step two.
The sluggishness of Amazon may provide an opportunity for others. For example, if ETI could productize an e-ink reader that reads EPUB like their prototype
apparently does then they might gain a significant advantage. Even Adobe might have a chance if they ever work out how to design a reader interface for Digital Editions that does not suck.