VHS vs Beta, AZW vs BBeB vs…

The technology battle to secure content and to insure repeat visits to a proprietary portal continue unabated. Pre-internet and during, the battle was VHS versus Beta, deciding which format would be preferred. Of course, VHS won, Beta faded away, and, by the way, VHS faded away as well. The content format war moved to the DVD arena, with Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD being the contenders. Of course, we now know that Blu-Ray won. It will be interesting to see the next iteration of this technology.
Which brings me to the primary topic of this post – the eBook wars. Today, Barnes & Noble announced that they will be entering the “eBook tied to device” market using a device from Plastic Logic. This is of course to deal with the rapid growth of the Kindle and Sony’s PRS offerings. Why is this VHS versus Beta all over again? Because books bought from the Sony, Amazon and now, according to press release, Barnes & Noble, will not be compatible or interchangeable between eBook readers. The good news is that all competitors are including software to allow their books to be read on multi-purpose devices such as PCs, Macs and smartphones, but as for the readers themselves, the formats are not interchangeable. The bottom line is that choosing the device, chooses the library and vice versa.

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