by Jim Bennett (January 17, 2000)
Barnes & Noble teamed up with Microsoft to launch their e-book revolution. The e-book technology has the potential to change the entire publishing industry in the next 5 to 10 years depending how well it's developed and implemented.
In concert with Bill Gates keynote, which included the funny Austin Powers campy "world takeover video", another push for CE was launched. At CES, he announced the latest generation of Windows CE would be called Pocket PC. The Microsoft Reader was also shown with ClearType technology to improve readability.
In a separate press presentation, we were shown how these technologies should help increase display resolution. This is said to be as much as three times the resolution according to Microsoft literature. While the color images and text were very presentable, I could not conclude if average readers would prefer eBooks over printed material. I'm sure that eBook adoption will be dependent on product, content, price points, distribution strategies and consumer tastes.
Barnes and Noble was very positive on the e-distribution business model because it has the potential of drastically reducing printing, distribution, inventory and other costs. It may also provide special interest titles, along with technical and industrial subjects with this new distribution channel.
© 2000 Jim Bennett All rights reserved.