Amazon recently reduced the price of the its Kindle eBook reader to $189 from $259.  This is a substantial discount, but does it matter?  Personally, I am not convinced about the benefits of the Kindle or equivalent eBook readers.  Here is why:

DRM

I am frustrated with the strict Digital Rights Management (DRM) inherent in the Kindle and other similar platforms.  I believe that protecting intellectual property is critical, but today’s DRM solutions are very limiting and are designed around the needs of the publisher not the consumer.  The problem is that there is no universally adopted DRM standard.  The Kindle’s DRM is different from Barnes and Nobles’ Nook which is different from Apple’s iBookstore.  The result is a confusing range of formats and options with limited or no interoperability.  Books purchased from Amazon will not run natively on Barnes and Nobles’ Nook or Apple’s iPad.  Amazon has tried to address this by making Kindle applications available for a number of platforms, but it still can be a challenge if you prefer an alternative platform.  As we all know, technology changes rapidly and as eReaders proliferate, there is no guarantee that your Amazon (or Barnes and Noble or iBookstore) content will work on future platforms.  This is very different from the traditional book model where you get perpetual license to a physical book and are guaranteed access to the content. Read More »