Amazon – not Apple nor Google – is the big new player in cloud music services, launching its offering on Tuesday while those of its rivals are still the subject of speculation. The online retailer announced Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Cloud Player – the first service gives users 5Gb of free data storage online and the second allows them to play, in a web browser or smartphone app, music they have uploaded to the cloud drive. Read more
Lovefilm’s £200m takeover by Amazon has reopened the usual debate about European tech start-ups.
Sure, it’s a great exit for Lovefilm’s management and investors. But as one entrepreneur friend said to me upon hearing the news: “Yet another one gone to the USA then.” Read more
Amazon has just updated the Kindle, giving the world’s most popular e-reader a much-needed facelift just in time for the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons.
The new device is sleeker, stronger and faster than the previous Kindle. Its body is 21 per cent smaller and 15 per cent lighter at 8.7 ounces. It has double the battery life at one month, plus double the storage capacity — enough for 3,500 books.
At $139 for a wifi only version and $189 for 3G, the new Kindle puts e-readers firmly within reach of mainstream consumers. For those looking for a cheap way in to digital reading, the Kindle is a compelling package. Read more
Amazon’s new Kindle DX, available on July 7, is the first eReader to feature E Ink‘s Pearl technology, enabling a contrast ratio 50 per cent better than the previous DX.
The improvement is a necessary upgrade in order for E Ink to produce its first colour screens by the end of the year. Read more
It looks like Microsoft has won a significant victory in its ongoing campaign to exert its claims over some of the key intellectual property in the Linux open source operating system.
Late on Monday, it announced a patent cross-licensing deal with Amazon. Among other things, this will cover the e-commerce company’s use of Linux in its servers. That is a big deal: given Amazon’s ambitions to become one of the biggest operators of public computing “clouds”, this amounts to a major endorsement of Microsoft’s claims over some of the core IP in Linux.
There is a caveat, though: the announcement was short on detail. And that is sure to bring accusations that the software company is once again using FUD to scare other Linux users into submission. Read more
Amazon is clearly concerned about the Apple tablet, judging today’s news.
Though it has yet to be unveiled, the impending arrival of the iPad, or iSlate, or whatever it may be called, is likely to shake up the market for digital books in a big way.
Apple is in talks with the major publishing houses in an effort to secure content deals for the tablet. If it succeeds in working out deals, integrating e-book sales into the iTunes store would be a cinch. Add to this that the tablet is expected to boast a large colour touchscreen, and you have an e-reader on steroids. Read more