Kindle Software Coming to PCs

Last Updated Oct 22, 2009 1:05 PM EDT

Now here's a potential game-changer: Amazon will soon offer Kindle software for Windows PCs. That means you'll be able to purchase and read e-books on your desktop, laptop, netbook, or even tablet, no Kindle required.

Of course, you can do that already using the various methods discussed in Turn Your Netbook Into a Kindle. And iPhone/iPod Touch owners can already tap the Kindle store and books on their devices. So what's this all about, really?



The future. When you think about it, buying a dedicated e-book reader makes no sense. It's one more piece of hardware to carry around -- and a limited one at that.

I suspect we'll soon see a new wave of touchscreen-powered netbooks and tablets running Windows 7, probably selling for less than $500. Add the Kindle software to the mix and you've got not only an e-book reader (one with a color, backlit screen), but also a full-fledged PC.

Of course, this is just conjecture on my part. What I know for sure is that Kindle for PC is coming next month, and you can sign up now to get notified when it's available.

Funny how this announcement came just two days after Barnes & Noble introduced the Nook, huh? Also funny: no Mac version. Think that's because Apple is planning an e-book announcement of its own? Time will tell.

In the meantime, here's a video that shows the Kindle software in action! (Scroll down to see it.)

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.