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Old 11-20-2008, 03:29 PM   #1
Daithi
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New Amazon service - Kindle 2.0 implications?

Today I broke down and bought two paperback books that were not available in the Kindle format and that I don't expect them to be anytime soon. After I bought my books I found out that Amazon is introducing a new service. One of the books I bought, which remember is not available as a Kindle book, was available for me to read online for an added fee.

Amazon's new service can be seen here http://www.amazon.com/upgrade

For an additional fee this service allows you to view entire books online that you have previously purchased. The book that I was able to read online was The Mathematics of Relativity for the Rest of Us by Dr. Louis Jagerman. The book cost around $33 and the online viewing fee cost an additional $6. Normally I wouldn't have paid this extra fee, but I wanted to see what their e-version looked like.

So what does it look like? It looks exactly like their "Look inside this book" function when you click on a book. In other words, it looks like a PDF version of the book with bars on the left and right side of the book for navigation. There is also a navigation section to the left of the book and options above the book for making highlights or adding bookmarks.

This new service has got me to thinking. On one hand this may be all there is to this new Amazon service. It allows you to pay an extra fee to read a book while you wait for the physical book to arrive in the mail. Or maybe they have future plans to allow users to buy just the e-version of the book. Or maybe there are implications for the next version of the Kindle.

I could easily see the next version of the Kindle supporting these new e-books. If the next version of the Kindle has a big screen like the up coming Plastic Logic device then Amazon could easily make these PDF style versions of their books an option. This would especially apply to books like textbooks that have special formatting not suitable for displaying on the current version of the Kindle.

The above is just a guess. I don't see much of a market for an electronic copy, readable only on a PC, of a physical book you have already purchased, but if this new service is an indication of things to come for a new Kindle then that would be cool.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:34 PM   #2
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This is not a 'new' service........its been available for a while.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:52 PM   #3
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Yeah, as DG says it's been around for a while and the selection of available books is very poor. Amazon will contact you if you have purchased any books that have an "uprade" version. So far, I've been contacted to upgrade a Cliff's Notes book and a Dummies book.
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:05 PM   #4
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This is the first time I had ever seen this feature, but I just did some research and it looks like the "New Service" has been around since at least early 2006. The headline on their webpage suckered me. It said, "NEW! Read your books online."

It also looks like they have an "Amazon Upgrade" store just like they have a "Kindle Store". There are just over 68,500 books in the "Amazon Upgrade" store. So it looks like there are no implications for a Kindle 2.0 and this was just some half-hearted venture they launched even before they developed the current version of the Kindle.

Sorry to have gotten anyone's hopes up.

Last edited by Daithi; 11-20-2008 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Daithi View Post
This is the first time I had ever seen this feature, but I just did some research and it looks like the "New Service" has been around since at least early 2006. The headline on their webpage suckered me. It said, "NEW! Read your books online."

It also looks like they have an "Amazon Upgrade" store just like they have a "Kindle Store". There are just over 68,500 books in the "Amazon Upgrade" store. So it looks like there are no implications for a Kindle 2.0 and this was just some half-hearted venture they launched even before they developed the current version of the Kindle.




Sorry to have gotten anyone's hopes up.
Not to worry. Speaking strictly for myself, I am perfectly content with my Kindle as it is. I don't need color, folders, bigger screen, etc. Even if they came out with a new one tomorrow, and offered a 1-1 trade, I wouldn't take advantage...
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:26 PM   #6
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I tried to read one of my technical books through that service and to me it was quite difficult: pages were slow to turn, it was hard to find the information I wanted in the book and sometimes it just got stuck in one place and I couldn't move forward or back. Maybe they were having a few bad days, but it was enough to turn me off for good.
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:28 PM   #7
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Not to worry. Speaking strictly for myself, I am perfectly content with my Kindle as it is. I don't need color, folders, bigger screen, etc. Even if they came out with a new one tomorrow, and offered a 1-1 trade, I wouldn't take advantage...
Actually... I would like to see folder support. I am pretty sure they could do that with a firmware upgrade. Actually, I am surprised it was out for a whole year without a firmware upgrade yet.

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Old 11-20-2008, 09:53 PM   #8
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Actually... I would like to see folder support. I am pretty sure they could do that with a firmware upgrade. Actually, I am surprised it was out for a whole year without a firmware upgrade yet.

BOb
ditto here but want secure pdf support as well
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:56 AM   #9
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I have a little under a thousand books on my Kindle and I would love to have folders. It would make navigating those books far easier, and I too am surprised that Amazon hasn't released a firmware update to resolve this issue.

However, it is the big screen that can directly support PDFs that I really want. I purchase a fair amount of non-fiction (computer programming, mathematics, and science) and these kinds of books really aren't suitable for display on the Kindle (mathematics formulas, chemistry diagrams, formatted programming code, tables of data, large images, etc.) These are also the kind of books I would like to be able to carry with me and reference over and over again. I also imagine college students and even high school students would rather carry around a Kindle 2.0 instead of 50 lbs. of textbooks.

If I could view an 8 1/2 x 11 PDF on my next Kindle then I could see myself using the Kindle for far more than just reading books. I have a lot of paper work, research papers, and that kind of thing that I can easily convert to PDF and then just load them on to my Kindle. So, yeah, I'll upgrade as soon as it is available.
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daithi View Post
I have a little under a thousand books on my Kindle and I would love to have folders. It would make navigating those books far easier, and I too am surprised that Amazon hasn't released a firmware update to resolve this issue.

However, it is the big screen that can directly support PDFs that I really want. I purchase a fair amount of non-fiction (computer programming, mathematics, and science) and these kinds of books really aren't suitable for display on the Kindle (mathematics formulas, chemistry diagrams, formatted programming code, tables of data, large images, etc.) These are also the kind of books I would like to be able to carry with me and reference over and over again. I also imagine college students and even high school students would rather carry around a Kindle 2.0 instead of 50 lbs. of textbooks.

If I could view an 8 1/2 x 11 PDF on my next Kindle then I could see myself using the Kindle for far more than just reading books. I have a lot of paper work, research papers, and that kind of thing that I can easily convert to PDF and then just load them on to my Kindle. So, yeah, I'll upgrade as soon as it is available.
Now you are talking about a different category of reader, one specifically made for textbooks, diagrams, math, etc. Obviously, whats out there now isn't suitable.

There is a strong market out there for this, and I can't for the life of me understand why something hasn't been created, unless of course, the book publishers are blocking it. There is a ton of money to be made here......and yes, it would cost money to create, BUT once done, prices would drop rapidly.

And okay, I'd like folders too. But thats all!
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Old 11-21-2008, 03:17 PM   #11
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Actually... I would like to see folder support. I am pretty sure they could do that with a firmware upgrade. Actually, I am surprised it was out for a whole year without a firmware upgrade yet.

BOb
They have actually had some firmware upgrades. They've just had no new features. My sister's new Kindle is 1.1. DH's, purchased a few months ago, is 1.0.8 and mine is 1.0.4 which was an upgrade from the original shipping version. I'm not sure why there are the two later versions. They shipped with those and the original Kindles don't seem to be upgrading to them. Maybe it's hardware related, but I haven't heard of any major component changes.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:58 PM   #12
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They have actually had some firmware upgrades. They've just had no new features.
But without any new features at all, it's hard to call them upgrades -- I'll just call them updates.
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:43 PM   #13
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But without any new features at all, it's hard to call them upgrades -- I'll just call them updates.
Yea... what he said. Minor updates do not an upgrade make. Also, none of these "updates" have been pushed out to all... so we assume they are all slight changes to support slightly different hardware part revs.

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Old 11-21-2008, 06:49 PM   #14
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I think one of the major improvements in 1.0.4 was stability. There were quite a few crashes in the original release that they fixed in 1.0.4. That's a pretty major to me.
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:52 PM   #15
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I think one of the major improvements in 1.0.4 was stability. There were quite a few crashes in the original release that they fixed in 1.0.4. That's a pretty major to me.
sure... still a fix and not an "upgrade". Fixes are great.

Anyway... didn't 1.0.4 come pretty soon after release? If so, that still makes a year and people with 1.0.4 still have 1.0.4.

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