Kindling the desire to read on a PC
Good news for those who don't feel much like splashing out over £200 (~$325) for an Amazon Kindle, as the online retailer has just announced a free app called "Kindle for PC," which, as the name suggests, will allow Amazon e-book punters to read books on their own machines.
From November, Amazon will allow anyone with a Kindle, Kindle DX, iPhone, iPod touch, or just a plain old PC to buy and download any of its current 360,000 books, which Amazon boasts counts 101 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers at an average price point of $10 (£6.5).
The firm showed off its new app for the first time at a Windows 7 launch event in New York City today, touting the fact the app can take full advantage of several new or improved Win 7 OS functions, such as improved touchscreen technology.
Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Windows platform strategy at Microsoft, added "the new Kindle for PC's use of Windows 7 features such as Jump Lists and Windows Touch demonstrates how Windows 7 makes new things possible."
The app, like the device itself, also sports Amazon's Whispersync technology, serving to automatically save and synchronise bookmarks and last-page-read across devices. Those who own a Kindle can even read a few pages on their PC, switch it off and pick right back up where they left off on their Kindle. Same goes for iPhone users.
Other features of the PC app, which include being able to access one's entire library of previously purchased Kindle books stored on Amazon's servers, being able to choose between 10 different font sizes and adjusting the number of words per line. Readers who also own a Kindle, will have the added benefit of being able to see any notes or highlights they may have made on the text using the device.
Better Windows 7 touch functionality also means users can zoom in and out of text with a pinch of their fingers, with Amazon promising that future releases of the app will include the capability of turning pages with a finger swipe.
For those not yet indoctrinated with the wonders of Win 7, Amazon says Kindle for PC will also be compatible with Windows XP and, *shudder*, Windows Vista.
It will be available to customers around the world as a free download next month.