It's being reported that Google Editions will be up and running this summer - as soon as next month (June 2010). This means that you should be able to buy a book over the web, just like you can now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple. Except you won't need the Kindle, Nook, or IPad. Or any other special gizmo.
No Gizmo Required
Here's the plan. You go to Google Book Search. You find a book you want to buy. You buy it. If you've got a gizmo, you can buy a gizmo-version. If you don't, no biggie.
And, on other sites, you should be able to buy "Google Editions" too. Retailers and independents can expand their base of buyers with this option of a digital version of their product - although there's still something to be worked out here on pricing. As in, does Google set the price here or does the retailer? (Guess who I'm betting wins here?)
Two things to consider here:
1. what is the impact of the pending Author's Guild - Google Settlement? It's in limbo right now. Maybe Google Editions aren't going to be out as fast as we've been told.
2. boy, am I glad I didn't buy that Kindle.