To be honest, I was less than wowed when I heard about Amazon’s Kindle for PC software (Mac version available soon-ish). After reading BetaNews’ take on it, it occurred to me that Amazon may have already established a toe-hold in the tablet market well before Apple ships its mythical slab (sub req’d) or Microsoft launches the Courier (if ever).
System requirements for the software are extremely modest: XP SP2,
Vista, or Windows 7, at least a 500 MHz AMD/Intel processor and 128 MB
of RAM, (800 x 600) screen resolution, and 100 MB storage. Conceivably,
if it supported Linux-based operating systems or WinCE, such a
lightweight app could actually run agreeably on recycled hardware;
providing the foundation for a DIY Kindle actually running Kindle software.
There’s nothing preventing an owner of a current Windows-based tablet PC like the Dell Latitude XT2 from loading it onto their machines now and sparing a few trees in the process. Just like that, you have an full e-book platform in a fairly portable package on a screen that handily beats most e-book readers in terms of size. Chances are you already carry your tablet PC around, anyway. Plus, there’s nothing else to buy (the software is free too).
The whole selling point behind e-books, to me at least, is that you can come close to replicating the experience of reading print thanks to electronic paper. (I once tried to read “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” on a Palm and it fell several thousand leagues short.) But for the few people out there that invested in a tablet PC, your e-book tablet has arrived.