Check out Barnes & Noble teams with Google Android for eReader, in Net World, where among other things NW contributor Tony Bradley argues for ePub in effect.
“The proprietary Kindle format is a handicap though that will turn off many users who are waiting for the dust to settle on the ebook standards so they don’t get saddled with obsolete technology like a Betamax video tape machine or an HD DVD player.”
Fictionwise, owned by Barnes &Noble, is moving in the direction of ePub as a core format for its eReader program. Will the hardware reader branded by the parent company (photos) follow? I suspect so. If that happens, Amazon’s Kindle format will appear to be more and more of an oddball approach.
“Now,” Bradley concludes, “if we could just settle on a standard ebook format and get the cost of the devices down around $100 I think the eReader would hit critical mass and make bound paper books obsolete.”
Details: I wish Bradley had discussed the problem of proprietary DRM turning ePub books into those with proprietary formats. Still, it’s good to see him so keen on format standardization. He talks of “Kindle vs. ePub vs. whatever other ebook standard might enter the competition debate.” But for now, I’m not sure if “whatever other” is that big a factor. Maybe that’ll change if Apple comes up with a proprietary standard for its tablet. But remember, third party programs for the tablet will still make it possible to read ePub books on it.