Amazon has led the way in driving acceptance of ebook reader devices with its Kindle, but now the market has gotten crowded. This is just the beginning though as ebook readers start to transition from purely consumer gadgets to accepted business tools.
Apparently Barnes and Noble and Sony failed to read the Forrester Research report when planning production of their ebook readers. Forrester predicted that as many as 1 million electronic book reading gadgets will be sold this holiday season, but the Barnes and Noble Nook and the Sony Reader couldn't keep up with demand and will miss out on the party.
That opens a door for Amazon to try and recapture the advantage in the market. Amazon has already expanded availability of the Kindle globally to open new markets, but the update pushed out by Amazon today puts Amazon one step closer to a potentially more lucrative market--the enterprise.
Bill Brikiatis, marketing manager for Nuance Communications concurs "This holiday shopping season, ebook readers will be hot products. Ebook reader users will look to sync up the content they use both in work and personal activities on these digital devices."
The Amazon Kindle now includes PDF support. Providing the ability to sync and read documents in the virtually universal PDF format opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for business use.
As Brikiatis explains "Business professionals will to want to add more content to their ebook readers--business reports and other work documents--following the well-worn path of convergence of personal and business usage on mobile devices."
The PDF support follows on the heels of Amazon introducing a Kindle application for Windows-based computers. The application provides users with the ability to sync and read books purchased in the Kindle format on their Windows systems. For Windows 7 users the Kindle software also takes advantage of the touch screen capabilities to allow page flipping and such directly on the display.
Amazon currently dominates the ebook reader landscape, but the high demand for the Barnes and Noble Nook, and the deluge of ebook reader competitors doesn't bode well. The fact that Kindle relies on a proprietary Amazon format is also a handicap for the device. Perhaps PDF support can minimize that handicap some.
Nuance sees the writing on the wall....or the ebook reader as the case may be. The ebook reader has quickly gone from a niche gadget to a mainstream device and its only a matter of time before it gains common acceptance as a business tool as well.
To enable business users to make productive use of ebook readers, Nuance recently added the ability to scan directly into an ebook reader friendly format with its software. Users can take reports or other work-related documents and scan them to read on-the-go in one step.
Even though I didn't place my order soon enough and the Grinch stole my Nook , I'll still be joining the ebook reader revolution shortly. Its good to know that having such a device may actually allow me to save a tree or two while at work, as well as at play.