The immediate assumption that everyone has made is that Feb 9th will be about Kindle 2.0. Here’s a question –
Why a Press Conference in a Library and Museum?
There has to be some symbolic significance. The two biggest threats to the Kindle’s future are Apple and Google –
- Apple because of the threat of a 9” Apple Touch.
- Google because of the threat of Google Books.
Whereas Amazon does have the Kindle to ward off the threat from a 9” Apple Touch, it is endangered by Google’s soon to be court-approved arrangement with book publishers. It makes a lot of sense that Amazon is doing something to thwart Google, and that in addition to announcing Kindle 2.0, it is also announcing Amazon Library, a store for –
- Free Public Domain Books that Kindle Owners (and soon anyone) can access for free.
- In Copyright, Out-of-Print books that users can buy to read on their kindle, online, etc.
- In Copyright, In-Print books that Amazon is already selling in many editions.
This counters not only the threat of Google siphoning off a potential revenue stream (i.e. copyrighted, out of print books) but also the threat of Google expanding their do-gooder image into the domain of books and becoming the go to destination for books.
I’m putting my money on both Kindle 2.0 and Amazon Library being announced. The addition of over 7,000 public domain books for free in the Kindle Store is just one more clue.