Data Intelligence, Business Analytics
Same with Barnes and Noble. You need to get a special device to read the book you purchased. In the case of Amazon, this fact is not even mentioned, and for users who can't figure out why they can't read the book (or who don't have the money to purchase the device), the rate of credit card charge back is very high, probably close to 100%.
What are the advantages of this business model - making the e-book not viewable on standard browsers such as Firefox, IE, Chrome?
There is indeed a business opportunity for an entrepreneur interested in creating a system such as Kindle (Amazon e-books) but with book available in PDF format (possibly require an software app to be installed on your machine to optimize bandwidth / storage costs)..
The source of the problem is company departments that don't communicate well with each other (legal, finance, engineering, business intelligence, marketing, user experience, testing, etc.) The charge back issue is a big one. I tried to purchase "Hadoop: the Definitive Guide", and being un-able to read the book that I ordered, I was considering calling my credit card issuer to ask for a refund. For books that we are tracking, the charge back rate is 5%. This is more than 10 times above average, and such as huge rate - at least with a small merchant - would automatically result in credit card account termination (that is, for the merchant, the impossibility to accept credit cards anymore).
Turns out that such an application exists (http://www.amazon.com/KindleForPC), but it's listed nowhere on Amazon's website, when you buy an e-book. Or it is so well buried on their website that for all practical purposes, it is just as if this app did not exist.
I had to do a search on Google to find it.
Vincent, it's all about piracy. You can find almost any pdf format book title for a pirate download via a torrent search.
I'm guessing the Kindle PC reader book is not an actual download, but rather a real-time access to the book via the web like Safari Books Online.
Nope, its a download but the Kindle Cloud Reader follows the paradigm you describe (apparently). Personally I like the Audible.com versions when available.
One of the advantages you don't have on your Pro/Con set is that both Nook/Kindle allow you to synchronize reading position in the e-book software across all device/s.
I.e., I start reading "Hadoop: the Definitive Guide" on my iPhone during my commute, sneak reads during a meeting I'm a live body in, and then read on my PC during a data run; the e-book software keeps track of where I am so that no matter which device I'm on (as long as I have the application up and that each has a live internet connection: WiFi, Cell plan, ....), I'm in the position in HtDG I tell the software I want to be at.