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Amazon Kindle for PC Beta Launched (amazon.com)
37 points by Hates_ on Nov 10, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments

FYI, it actually kind of works for me in Linux under Wine.

Installation worked perfectly for me. The only problem is that all of the text in the main application does not display (missing font?). But by clicking on random buttons, you can find books you've already bought. The text for the books displays fine, but again you can only see some fonts:

bookmark font works (you can browse bookmarks you've made) But table of contents, searching does not work so well because their font doesn't display).

Yeah I just tried it too (Ubuntu 9.10, wine 1.0.1) and had the same result -- app seems to work (i.e., I can click around, pull up my books, read them), but none of the UI text appears.

Is there a way to inspect what font/typeface the app is expecting to load?

When's the Mac version due?

Sadly, like the iPhone application, this doesn't work for magazines purchased through the Kindle store. Not sure why they're restricting the non-device applications to books only.

Wonderful! My stupid first-gen EEE pc with XP finally has a use other than coffee cup coaster (Because it gets so damn hot it can keep my coffee warm.)

On another note, Amazon apparently just gave me a free Kindle. Sweet. Does this mean that they actually had no intention of making money on the device itself, it was all about selling books without having to stock and ship them?

More broadly, a software store with automatic updates on the Windows-PC platform could be huge.

It would be wonderful for software developers (if it got traction) but there is no reason why it is helpful for software customers.

Nobody wakes up in the morning and says "You know what I need? An App Store on my machine, to help shareware developers sell more software to me!"

(P.S. It has worked wonderfully for Steam though, and wonderfully but less famously for one or two other game distribution networks like Stardock. They all give value adds for installing the "store" system -- priority distribution of games, deeply discounted games, and kinder friendlier DRM being three of the big ones.)

One of the things I really like about Ubuntu is that I can download and install the right version of a wide variety of program for my machine very easily. And it lets me keep up to date without thinking about it. A lot of programs don't update automatically and those that do are doing it right when I don't want it to--when I start the program up. If there was a similar system for Windows, I would definitely consider switching back.

If developers have a good distribution system, there's greater incentive to invest more in making better software. There's a chicken-and-egg problem here since unless the platform has worthwhile programs, no one is going to install it, but Steam is one example, and Microsoft could do it themselves and that would guaranteed to be adopted, if there's no legal problems there.

Distributing free programs (How about keep my Python and Notepad++ up to date?) would be a way to bootstrap as well.

EDIT: Firefox Add-ons also looks like it's moving towards a store with donations as a preliminary trial, and remember add-ons can also be standalone applications running off of xulrunner: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=892073

My general impression is that Microsoft don't want to make a PC app store, because they'd rather let a 1000 flowers bloom and for the software developers to market them freely. Also known as 'commoditised' shareware where different apps compete with each other.

They're not mutually exclusive. Steam is awesome, but it's also nice being able to buy physical CDs at Game Stop.

I wish there was an open way to get apps on the iPhone, but I wouldn't want to App Store to go away either.

Awesome - I just uploaded a new ebook to Amazon and was going to have to borrow a friend's Kindle to see what it looked like.

What's the title of your book ?

I'm going to assume that he's talking about "How to Become a C# Programmer" http://bit.ly/2OlHRI, unless he's published multiple ebooks within the last week.

Great! - this is a move in the right direction. I'm really hoping for a web version.

Not to be snarky, by why do a mac, a PC and a web version even make sense ?

Isn't the whole point of the kindle that you can use it as a book ?

I leave my kindle at home most of the time. Sometimes, while at work, I wish I could take a look at a particular passage of a book. The iphone app is OK for waiting rooms, but is definitely not ideal for more than casual reading. Having a mac version would be very helpful for me.

No, the point is to make the Kindle hardware a good-enough substitute for a book that they can use it as a loss leader to grow their digital book business.

Or, the iPhone/PC/etc versions of the Kindle reader make every Kindle sold even better, giving you more reason to buy a Kindle and Kindle books. I.e. even if your kindle breaks you can still read the books you bought.

Just a note... It appears the installer is Nullsoft's NSIS system.

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