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Kindle for PC: Game, Set and Match for Amazon

Amazon.com has made available a beta version of its Kindle for PC software and, in so doing, has taken the idea of portable data to new heights.

But this is not just a story about one company cornering the market on eBooks. This is a story about Amazon.com making data available across access platforms: the PC, the iPhone and the Kindle device it self. Once downloaded and installed on a PC, it just works. You can open up a book on Kindle for iPhone, for example, and close the book when you're finished reading. Click on your desktop, open up Kindle for PC, and boom, there it is: The same book opens up to the same page you left off on your iPhone.

Turn off your desktop and grab your tablet PC and the same thing happens: Open you Kindle for PC on the tablet, and it opens the book to exactly where you left off.

The tablet PC is especially nice to use with Kindle software to read books, given the form factor is close to book-like itself. I took a ride on it using a Fujitsu Lifebook tablet PC running Windows 7. In under two minutes, I had my copy of Andrew Ross Sorkin's "Too Big to Fail" up on the screen, holding it like a physical book, at exactly the same page where I left it off on the desktop PC. Amazon.com's Kindle franchise has become the very definition of portable data. Where ever you go, there it is.

While it's not yet available for the Mac or Linux, Amazon.com has made it a snap for Windows PCs. All you need is a PC with a 500 MHz (or faster) Intel or AMD chip, 128 MB of RAM, screen resolution of 800 by 600 or better, and Windows XP SP 2 or later, Windows Vista or Windows 7. Amazon.com also feels it necessary to tell us we need at least 100 MB of available disk space.

In under a year, Amazon.com has transformed the process of making data portable, mobile and highly available across a variety of mobile and desktop devices. It already has the world's largest marketplace of books online, and its Kindle book store is growing daily. With a presence on its own device, the iPhone and now just about any PC that runs Windows, Amazon.com can now call game, set and match in the eBook space. And, if other tech companies are watching, they will see a new leader in the drive to make data truly portable and cross-platform.

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