In what can hardly be a coincidence (considering the launch of Google E-Books yesterday with its focus on reading in web browsers), Amazon announced today that they are expanding Kindle For Web, allowing users to not only preview and purchase Kindle books from web browsers, but read full e-books as well.
Kindle For Web currently allows any website to embed previews of Kindle e-books, where users can read the first chapter or two and click through to purchase the book from Amazon (you can see an example of Kindle for Web in action here). Presumably, users can now read the sample, click to purchase the e-book, and continue reading right from the website they were already on. I’d imagine users will also be able to visit a Kindle For Web page on Amazon.com and be able to read any e-book in their Kindle e-book library.
Amazon seems to enjoy stealing other companies’ thunder — anyone remember Amazon undercutting B&N’s Nook price-cut within hours of the announcement? While Google trumpets the ability to read e-books from its new e-bookstore in any web browser or multiple other devices, Kindle e-books can now be read on a Kindle, in a web browser, on a desktop or laptop Mac or PC computer, any iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad), Blackberries, or any Android smartphone.