Jeff Bezos wants Kindle books to become ubiquitous and the standard in digital reading. “Buy once, read everywhere,” is his motto. He already has the various flavors of the Kindle e-reader, as well as an iPhone app, an even better iPad app, a Blackberry app, a new Android app, and desktop readers for the Mac and PC. But what about the plain old Web?
Amazon is inching in that direction with a soon-to-be-released “Kindle Previewer for HTML5.” When you buy a Kindle device or download the software, you can sample a free chapter for any book in the Kindle store. With the new previewer, those free samples will be available on the Web as well, with the option to buy the Kindle edition.
It sounds like it will be similar to the “Look Inside the Book” option on Amazon’s Website, except this will be for Kindle editions and be in HTML5.
What is not clear, however, is why Amazon is only making the previews available in HTML5 and not the entire book. One argument could be that it is not ideal to read an entire book on a desktop or laptop computer. But, in that case, why offer Kindle software for Macs and PCs with full book downloads?
On the iPad and other tablet devices, the HTML5 preview will be available right on the browser, creating another way to promote Kindle editions when people are just surfing the Web. The HTML5 previews will also be linkable, as opposed to the sample downloads locked inside each app. But ultimately, there is no reason why Amazon shouldn’t offer full HTML5 versions of the entire Kindle library. Once it does that, it really won’t matter what device you are on as long as it has a browser.