The news has been floating around for a while, but Google finally made it official on Wednesday: Google Editions, their eBook store, launched on Monday.
What’s the big deal? Well, as many of us agree, the proprietary formats are just a pain. You can’t read Adobe DRM on Kindle, you can’t read AMZ on anything except Kindle-compatible devices, blah blah blah. (Although the Bluefire app, which reads Adobe-DRM books on Apple devices, just broke through a major barrier.)
Anyway, the difference with Google Editions is that their books are entirely Web-based. This means that you would be able to read books anywhere, on any device, as long you can connect to the internet and have a Web browser.
The tech media are talking it up, saying it makes a significant difference, that it will provide true competition to the juggernauts. And in a way it is. Without being tied to a proprietary format, readers can read on anything. Similar to most eBook stores, the purchased books will stay on your virtual bookshelf, which you can access as long as you have a Google account. Reading the fine print on the Google Editions page (which is directed at potential booksellers, not consumers), there are some points of interest: