The Kindle – not so closed as might have been suggested?

The smoke has cleared after the Kindle’s launch (although our evaluation devices are still lost in the mail, it appears), and people have been poking through the detritus. One such person is sf author Gary Gibson, who’s been following the Kindle’s media trail quite closely … and has found a review that suggests Amazon’s new ebook reader may not be anywhere near as restricted in function as Amazon themselves may have claimed:

… the implication to some is that back-doors to the device’s software have been more or less left deliberately left wide-open. Not only that, but many of the purported limitations – you can only read books downloaded through Amazon’s website, you can’t copy books, it doesn’t work as a web browser – are, according to some, manifestly not true. For instance, the majority of blogs you purportedly have to pay to be able to read are accessible for free using RSS feeds through the Kindle’s basic web browser, as in fact are the free online contents of many of the newspapers now selling Kindle subscriptions.

Interesting stuff – though I think we’ll need some more corroboration on these points before getting too excited. And, wider functionality or not, it’s still very ugly … but I guess I could live with that.

[tags]Kindle, ebook, reader, functionality, technology[/tags]

5 thoughts on “The Kindle – not so closed as might have been suggested?”

  1. Amazon have never said that “you can only read books downloaded through Amazon’s website” or “it doesn’t work as a web browser”, have they?

    These “purported limitations” have been purported by other people. Support for .txt, .PRC and .MOBI books isn’t some kind of sneaky back door on Amazon’s behalf – it would be crazy not to include something like that because of all the public domain texts (classic novels and so on) available.

  2. Quite true, Ben, as Gary points out in his post – it’s that very silence about the capabilities that is curious. You’d think that they’d be trumpeting its versatility far more widely than they have … unless, as Gary suggests, they’ve wanted to keep certain aspects “on the down-low”. Why they’d want to do so, I have no idea – I guess things will become clear in time.

  3. The kindle has a full keyboard. I can not find any informtion on the capabilities or functionality of the keyboard. Does the Kindle have a storage capabilities – wordprocessing document?

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