Waterstones will be selling the Sony Reader beginning tomorrow, the official launch day.
This is what the pre-order page looks like:
It looks like a single color is being offered: Silver. I always thought that, paradoxical as it sounds, Silver offered better contrast to the eInk screen than the Deep Blue color.
Pre-orders have apparently been going very well:
This is Sony UK touting it on their site:
This is interesting:
1. When you buy a Reader, install the supplied software on your computer, connect Reader to it with the cable provided and voila! Create and manage your eBook library on your PC and transfer your eBooks to Reader exactly like you do with your music on your mp3 player.
2. Need a new book? Thousands of titles will be available from waterstones.com the online store of Britain’s best-loved bookseller. Simply buy the ones you want and import them into your PC’s Reader library.
Emphasis added by me.
This brings up some interesting questions:
1) What file format will be the file format of the eBooks sold by Waterstones? Sony’s BroadBand eBook (BBeB)? ePub?
2) If ePub, will Adobe Digital Editions be part of the software included with the Reader?
The one false step I see is that “Windows-only” is not prominent anywhere. It’s not until someone goes to the Sony Reader FAQ that we see:
18. Can I use Reader with an Apple Mac?
Reader is only supported on Microsoft® Windows® XP and Microsoft® Windows® Vista™ operating systems. If you are not sure whether Reader will work on your PC or laptop please check out the system requirements.
That lack of Mac compatibility is just stupid and stubborn on Sony’s part. And I can envision some people opening their brand new Reader and only then discovering it won’t work with their Mac!
Here’s an idea for Sony. With the introduction yesterday of the Google Chrome browser, why not think Cloud Library? Why not ditch your current Windows-only software and find a way to make it cross-platform via the Chrome browser? There will be a Mac version of Chrome. I’m sure the plug-in architecture for it will be cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux). This could be a great big opportunity, particularly with Google already having a ton of eBooks online. A Google-Sony eBook alliance could stand up against both Amazon as well as Apple. It would also be huge leverage against print publishers and could help lower eBook prices faster as well as garner big press attention for eBooks.