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Google launching online bookstoreBy Johan Keyter 1 December 2010 | Categories: news
According to the Wall Steet Journal, Google is preparing to launch its long delayed e-book online store, Google Editions, an entry into the market which may upset big time leaders Amazon.
Initially hoped to launch in mid 2010, the venture has been delayed due to a number of technical and legal hurdles. But now Google product management director, Scot Dougall, has said that the online store is set to debut in the US before the end of the year and internationally during the first quarter of 2011.
With Google Editions the company hopes to make a dent in the e-book market by offering users an open, “read anywhere” website model. This means that users will be able to buy books directly from Google Editions or from other online retailers, including independent bookstores. They can then add these e-books to an online account tied to a Google account and will then be able to access the contents from almost any device with a web browser, including PC's, smartphones and tablet PCs.
Amazon.com is without a doubt Google's biggest competitor in this segment, estimated to own as much as 65% of the market share. Google Editions is looking like it has a slight edge already though, since Amazon users can only purchase their e-books from an Amazon store and has to run them on a device with Kindle software installed.
At this stage many of the finer details of how the website will function are still unclear, including how booksellers will share a percentage of revenue with Google. The American Booksellers Association has meanwhile said that over 200 independent booksellers could sign up to Google Editions before launch.
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