So what does this mean in terms of the main e-book format featured? News coverage is vague. An account in Capital New York says the Amazon-supplied books will be readable on a variety of devices ranging from PCs to phones. Great. But I suspect this just means that Amazon will supply apps to read Kindle-format books on a number of platforms.
What about ePub, though—the industry standard? To keep costs down and promote easier access, certain government agencies insist on use of open formats for documentation-creation. Might some of the same concepts hold true for e-books?
No, I’m not saying that the New York schools shouldn’t have done the deal, given the efficiencies it will promote. But both schools and libraries should also be looking forward and asking suppliers in the future to honor e-book industry standards. Yes, the matter of proprietary DRM complicates matters. This can get messy. But the complications will be worth it.