Remember Google Editions? The Googly ebook store that was announced earlier this year and was going to launch in June or July? Well, it's not arrived yet, as you may have noticed.
Google's offering was to be different to most ebook stores - no file downloads but rather an online library stored in Google's 'cloud'. No DRM or messy solutions like that, but everyone's reading habits available for analysis by the world's biggest web ad broker and, coincidentally, search engine. There's a win for customers there, because they don't have to fight awkward DRM schemes and can access their books anywhere as long as they have net connectivity. But a huge win for Google in its ability to link reading habits to its advertising business.
So Amazon and Apple may be relieved, but what's going on? Perhaps the exercise is turning out to be a little harder than Google anticipated: they now claim that Google will launch Editions "when it's ready", as Google spokeswoman Jeannie Hornung tells CNET. But with the ebook market maintaining its rapid growth, Google may need to get to this party quickly before their customers are already committed to its rivals' models - whatever the costs and benefits of such a decision.
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