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Sony And Google Try To Take On The Kindle With Open Books

When you are coming from behind, embracing openness is always a good strategy. That is exactly what Sony is doing with its electronic book reader, which is up against the Amazon Kindle. The key to the Kindle's success is that it is paired with the largest book store in the world, where most people likely to buy an electronic book already have accounts. Sony is trying to fight this advantage by being more open and thereby attracting other large players into its sphere of influence. It's biggest ally in this fight is Google, whose M.O. is to attack closed industries with open technologies. Today, Google is making available more than one million public domain books in the open ePub format, which also happens to be the linchpin of Sony's open strategy. Yesterday, at the unveiling of Sony's latest electronic book reader at the New York Public Library, the head of its ebook division, Steve Haber, emphasized: ""You want a ubiquitous experience: open, open open." He repeated the mantra in the way that Steve Ballmer says, "Developers, developers, developers," except he said it a little softer since he was in a library. TechCrunch50 Conference 2009 : September 14-15, 2009, San Francisco
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