The race to offer the biggest electronic bookstore got more competitive today as Sony Inc. announced that users of its e-book readers now have access to more than 1 million free public domain books in the Google Inc. Books project.
Sony claimed the news meant it was now the largest source for e-books. It also has an additional 200,000 popular books for sale, including nearly all the current bestsellers.
Barnes & Noble.com, however, on July 20 announced it had 700,000 e-book titles available, including more than half a million from Google in the public domain.
A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman said today that the Google public domain books are not exclusively available to Sony, and that Barnes & Noble would also have access to Google's e-books.
"We're not saying a number of how many we have available," the spokeswoman said, but added it was clearly more than 700,000. With the Google number doubled to 1 million, Barnes & Noble could have as many as 1.2 million, putting it in a tie with Sony.
Amazon.com Inc. is the other big contender in the e-bookstore war, with more than 300,000 titles available for its Kindle e-book readers, Apple Inc. iPhones and iPod Touch devices.
Sony's e-books are available on its two e-readers, the PRS-505 and PRS-700.
Barnes & Noble said it is offering its books on the iPhone and iPod Touch, BlackBerry smartphones, and soon, exclusively, on the upcoming Plastic Logic eReader device. Aside from handhelds, Barnes & Noble supports most Windows and Mac laptops and desktop computers.
This story, "Sony E-readers Get Access to 1M Free Public Domain Books From Google" was originally published by Computerworld.