Thanks For Being Open Apple, Amazon, Barnes And Noble

"Open systems" are really helpful for consumers. For example, on Friday I found what seems like the perfect book to help me learn how to create apps for the iPhone and iPad.

I found the book while surfing around using Safari on my iPad. I wanted to know more about it, so I went to the Amazon.com site, and read through the comments. I decided to buy it.

But I didn't want to wait until after the weekend to have Amazon ship me a copy. So, I went to BN.com (that's Barnes and Noble's website), and looked up the book, and they have a very handy feature that lets you see if it is available at your local store. And there it was! So, I let the store know I wanted it, and they texted me back that it was ready.

Barnes and Noble seems to be working as hard as they can to be ready for modern consumers. When I got to the store, I noted that the book (computer tech books can be quite expensive) had been marked down 20% already, and my member's discount of 10% would be taken off of that. I think that BN realizes that they are competing to some extent with Amazon. Based on conversations I've had with other booksellers, this is a hard concept to grasp.

I'm thinking of buying the ebook version of the book so I'll have it in my iPad reference library. As much as I enjoy Apple's iBooks versions of ebooks, I'll need to get it for the Kindle app on the iPad, because iBooks doesn't have it. Since everyone is working together, though, I'll be able to have the ebook version too.

I'd argue that this works out more conveniently than even sf writers imagined; the best visualization of ebooks is probably the tiny electronic book store from Stanislaw Lem's 1961 novel Return from the Stars.

Anyway, this whole scenario wouldn't work if each of these companies hadn't elected to have a more open system. So thanks, Apple, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/1/2011)

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