Google’s forthcoming e-books store now has an official launch date: The end of the year. Company executives had initially promised in June 2009 that the store, which will let consumers buy digital versions of current and older titles, would launch by the end of 2009. They later said it would launch in June 2010 but that did not happen either.
Executives now tell the WSJ that the store, which is being called Google Editions, will launch in the U.S. by the end of December and will debut abroad during the first three months of 2011. They say the launch was delayed because they “didn’t want to come out with something that wasn’t thorough.”
What is interesting about this whole process is that Google has either chosen to take its time on this one or has been forced to take its time on this action. Compared to some of the ‘rushed to market’ efforts of the recent past (Google Buzz) this shows that even Google has constraints.
The store is reportedly going to carry some 500,000 titles with the critical issue being that the books will be ‘device agnostic’. Any device running a browser will be able to run a Google Editions ebook. This probably the most compelling piece of the offering since the Kindle, iPad and other reader wars have intensified as of late and will likely continue.
Personally, if the selection is good enough (and considering my reading habits there are plenty of ‘older’ books I would benefit from reading) I would actually consider joining the ebook set if it was browser based. I say this because I really have no interest in carrying yet another device with me. After a while you can start feeling like a pack mule loaded up with laptops, ereaders, other mobile devices etc.
So if this were to come to fruition for real this time, how interested are in Google Editions? Let us know in the comments so we can give the folks at Google a bit of free (albeit pretty limited) market research.