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Old 10-13-2006, 03:30 PM   #1
airlik
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Next version already in the works?

http://www.teleread.org/blog/?p=5654

Do you think this means new hardware, or simply new firmware? I have been wanting one of these things since January, and was planning on having my wife buy me one for Christmas... but do I now need to worry about it being the "old version" so soon? Always a problem with technology, I understand, but things like text search are features I was disappointed didn't make it in...
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Old 10-13-2006, 03:43 PM   #2
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Even if I'm not coding software, but I think these additions should not require new hardware. However, from a marketing point of view ...
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:30 PM   #3
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I think that the slow e-ink response time means that to do text search (and therefore text entry), you need a keyboard or touchscreen. The joystick just won't do it, so as I don't think an add on keyboard is likely, I'm convinced that to support text search on the Reader, you have to have new hardware. And I'm hoping they are really working on the next Sony Reader anyway. However, even as good as Mossberg is, I'd have to see confirmation somewhere before I am confident it's not just a miscommunication, or referring to working on a new Reader in the vague sort of "they are thinking about what they might do with another Reader product if they decide to make one" way.
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:33 PM   #4
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Off-hand I'd guess firmware/software update. I think that MobileRead alone has given them ample suggestions/feedback to make up that sort of an update. As far as timing goes, it will probably take a couple-few months to get the adjustments done and thoroughly tested -- they won't want to throw out a quick and dirty patch that hoses the stability of the existing OS. The Reader does have some lacks, no arguement there, but it's remarkably stable.

I'd expect that hardware updates would be on the order of at least a year, if they started them some time ago, which I doubt (though I did get the impression they might have started thinking about them), so probably more like 2~3+ years out.

Salt to taste.

Last edited by NatCh; 10-13-2006 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:46 PM   #5
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I'm personally hoping they release an SDK and let me at that UNIX filesystem I saw someone post the contents of in another thread heh
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Old 10-13-2006, 06:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh
I'd expect that hardware updates would be on the order of at least a year, if they started them some time ago, which I doubt (though I did get the impression they might have started thinking about them), so probably more like 2~3+ years out.

Salt to taste.
Not to mention that doing hardware updates too often is a bad business decision as well as a bad technical decision. You need to let the hardware pay for its R&D before making the next version, and by bringing them out too frequently you scare away consumers. Who wouldn't feel a little unhappy if Sony released a better Reader today, having already bought the first?

But I hope that a firmware/software update is in the works, to bring us some of the easily-fixed issues we've come up with (minor though they are, especially compared to the Iliad!)
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Old 10-13-2006, 06:33 PM   #7
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No question Sony is considering (or even already working on) a future version of the Sony Reader. They'll better do, if they believe the whole e-book biz to be a success. The question Mossberg doesn't answer is when the Sony Reader would be replaced. Obviously it's not going to be today or tomorrow (let's be serious, the Reader just came out!).

And like some of you I don't think that simple features like searching inside a book would require a new device - a firmware update should be sufficient.
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Old 10-13-2006, 06:36 PM   #8
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There was already talk of a "next generation" back in January when the Reader was first announced. WiFi network access was mentioned, IIRC.
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Old 10-13-2006, 09:09 PM   #9
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Bob's hunch about the keyboard, etc., is right on the mark. Without real keyboard or a stylus or other input arrangement for use with a virtual kb, how can the Reader do word-based searches? Perhaps I'm missing something, but, yes, I believe Walt Mossberg's reference to a new version of the Reader--not just the firmware. What's more, as has just been noted, Sony itself seems to have talked about a follow-up. Meanwhile I'll stand by my prediction that the Sony Reader will be a nice niche product, but hardly the iPod of e-books. That won't necessarily stand in the way of a second gen, though. Sony has its corporate pride. - David

David Rothman - http://www.teleread.org/blog

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Old 10-13-2006, 09:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
Bob's hunch about the keyboard, etc., is right on the mark. Without real keyboard or a stylus or other input arrangement for use with a virtual kb, how can the Reader do word-based searches?
Virtual Keyboard + Joystick navigation

Granted, it is not most convenient way to enter text, but still it's doable without hardware upgrade.
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Old 10-13-2006, 11:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slava
Virtual Keyboard + Joystick navigation

Granted, it is not most convenient way to enter text, but still it's doable without hardware upgrade.
My personal conception of that approach would be more in the range of "nightmare." (shudder)
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Old 10-14-2006, 03:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airlik
http://www.teleread.org/blog/?p=5654

Do you think this means new hardware, or simply new firmware?
I think Mossberg is guessing, or leaking. Sony wouldn't say that an improved version was in the works, not officially, I don't think.

That kind of communication blunder killed the Osborne-1 computer, didn't it? The company said that there was a new and improved version (or two) coming, so noone bought the current one. Result: no cash flow, no money to pay developers, no new and improved version, and, after a while, no Osborne company.

Sony won't go belly-up that easily, but the product line might -- if everyone stops buying Reader 1, and decides to wait for Reader 2.
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Old 10-14-2006, 04:17 AM   #13
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I doubt that Mossberg would just guess. There's got to be a reason why he wrote what he did. - David
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Old 10-14-2006, 04:23 AM   #14
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but making any kind of statement about a next gen device just 2 weeks after launch of the current one is the most stupid thing any company could do. I honestly believe that somewhere along the way peoples wires have become crossed.

As for Mike Canes comment at the end of the article I have to say it just reaffirms my opinion of the guy (not fit for public airing). On a p-book when you reach the end of a page you have to turn to the next one. That takes longer than the refresh on the sony screen. So unless Mike still reads scrolls he's gonna have problems anyway.
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Old 10-14-2006, 03:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrothman
I doubt that Mossberg would just guess. There's got to be a reason why he wrote what he did. - David
But he could be misinterpretting.

I think we might see a firmware update before too long, from the feedback MR has generated, but I wouldn't look for a Reader 2.0 for a year or two.
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