Amazon does yet another thing Microsoft wanted to do (my April Fools turns out to be true)

Newsweek has the scoop. I’m held by NDA until tomorrow.

But, I know that the Sony Reader was an object of Bill Gates’ attention. He wanted to do one of his own. It’s maddening to me that Microsoft hasn’t been able to turn its Tablet PC team into a team that can build a world-class device like this.

All I’ll say until tomorrow is you gotta try this device. It’s not perfect, but for long-form reading it is a wonderful device. I am going to buy one of my own. It’d really be great to have on our trip to Europe for the plane ride next month cause my Mac’s batteries only last two hours each (I have two of them) and the flight is 10 hours.

Oh, and you should go back and read my April Fool’s joke on April 1 of this year. In that joke I predicted a device that almost matches Amazon’s new reader almost word-for-word.

The comments there are HILLARIOUS to read in comparison to today’s news. Here’s some of the funnier ones:

JR writes: “This is so implausible that you should have waited a few hours to post it. That way you could at least claim it as an April Fool’s joke.”

Adrian writes: “Took me a while though, maybe halfway down the post. You should have stopped at “Much easier than going to Borders and picking up a physical copy.” Um, it IS easier to use than going down to Borders and picking up a physical copy.

Mike writes: “Nice story, Robert, but no one takes a product to Half Moon Bay to use it in sunlight.” Um, this device is the first screen I’ve used (Sony Reader uses a similar screen) that works BETTER in sunlight than in low light. And it’s sunny out in Half Moon Bay right now. It’s not ALWAYS foggy here!

Evan writes: “Man, you clearly have no idea how to tell a proper lie.” Well, that’s true cause now it’s a lot closer to reality than a made-up story.

Tom writes: “Not being an Apple fan I did not catch the little clues. But I was about to become one. If Apple is smart they’ll make this product. After all, you’ve created the demand at no cost to them.” My April Fools joke was actually a prediction that Apple would do this. Turned out that Amazon did it first and did a kick-ass job on it.

Dave writes: “I was right with you up until the “tiny balls” part.” Um, you do realize that that’s EXACTLY how the Sony and Amazon Reader’s screen works, right?

Michael writes: “Critique: I prefer a post of this genre to to hew closer to the line of plausability. This one piled the doo doo higher and higher till it collapsed of its own weight.” Heheh, well, now Michael, what do you think? Nearly everything in my April Fools’ joke came true, albeit from Amazon.

polyGeek writes: “Since Amazon almost always screws up and releases product information prematurely I’m sure they will have a purchase page for this April Fools iReader by noon today. :-)” Amazon actually was amazingly able to keep Apple-like secrecy on this project. Yeah, some pictures leaked, but not much else. There’s still some details to come tomorrow too.

Lena writes: “Chris Carfi just told me it was an April Fool’s joke. But, seriously, I want this product. I’m bummed.” Now you can have it!

Anyway, talk to you tomorrow.

Comments

  1. Hmmm…I generally get 3hrs min and usually closer to 4 on my MacBookPro-17. That’s general computing/surfing. Haven’t tried movies etc.

  2. Actually, I remember that my reason for not believing the April Fool’s Joke was the idea of you meeting some high up Apple exec with a top-secret device on the beach, and him letting you see it and talking about it. Even if it were true, then that guy would be so fired on Monday.

    The tech didn’t seem outrageous to me – I think I just thought, “If only someone did do this.” But I assumed that even if they did, they’d bugger it up with DRM.

  3. Actually, I remember that my reason for not believing the April Fool’s Joke was the idea of you meeting some high up Apple exec with a top-secret device on the beach, and him letting you see it and talking about it. Even if it were true, then that guy would be so fired on Monday.

    The tech didn’t seem outrageous to me – I think I just thought, “If only someone did do this.” But I assumed that even if they did, they’d bugger it up with DRM.

  4. I had a brief chance to handle a pre-production unit at Gnomedex. Love at first sight! It’s another iPhone IMO – a game changer in many respects over everything that has preceded it. And like the iPhone, it’s going to be a walled garden device which will p*ss off a lot of folks (not me).

    And, like the iPhone, subsequent generations of this device will certainly be better than the 1.0 release. But, gadget boy that I am and voracious reader that I am, I’m probably buying one instantly.

  5. I had a brief chance to handle a pre-production unit at Gnomedex. Love at first sight! It’s another iPhone IMO – a game changer in many respects over everything that has preceded it. And like the iPhone, it’s going to be a walled garden device which will p*ss off a lot of folks (not me).

    And, like the iPhone, subsequent generations of this device will certainly be better than the 1.0 release. But, gadget boy that I am and voracious reader that I am, I’m probably buying one instantly.

  6. As I look at the small stack of books on my desk, the larger stack of books on the floor by my reading chair, and the bookcases that are too full to hold any more, this device appeals to me greatly.

  7. As I look at the small stack of books on my desk, the larger stack of books on the floor by my reading chair, and the bookcases that are too full to hold any more, this device appeals to me greatly.

  8. I am so excited that I will probably buy one. The one thing I think it needs to address is second hand books. Books are insanely expensive especially in the US. So it is an advantage for both the seller and the buyer to have the ability to resell.

    Guppy

  9. I was really disappointed when I found out it was an April Fools joke. I am an April Fool that has been talking about this device for ten years. I am glad to finally see it hit the market.

  10. I am so excited that I will probably buy one. The one thing I think it needs to address is second hand books. Books are insanely expensive especially in the US. So it is an advantage for both the seller and the buyer to have the ability to resell.

    Guppy

  11. I was really disappointed when I found out it was an April Fools joke. I am an April Fool that has been talking about this device for ten years. I am glad to finally see it hit the market.

  12. Okay – you proved you have no idea what “irony” means yesterday. Now today you’ve proven you can’t spell “hilarious”.

    The former was done while ranting/raving over not being treated properly – in your eyes. The latter was while bragging that you have NDA knowledge that us mere mortals don’t have.

    Le Scoble, you’ve jumped the shark big time. Sorry to hear that dude.

    Please, Robert, come down to earth. It really ain’t that bad.

  13. Okay – you proved you have no idea what “irony” means yesterday. Now today you’ve proven you can’t spell “hilarious”.

    The former was done while ranting/raving over not being treated properly – in your eyes. The latter was while bragging that you have NDA knowledge that us mere mortals don’t have.

    Le Scoble, you’ve jumped the shark big time. Sorry to hear that dude.

    Please, Robert, come down to earth. It really ain’t that bad.

  14. Interesting, though overhere in the Netherlands @ selected bookshops you can already buy an ebook reader (http://www.irextechnologies.com/). In Belgium a newspaper has been testing it, and currently there’s a test in the Netherlands with selected newspapers as well.

    It definitely is more expensive (Eur 649), but then you can also take notes with it, and annotate PDF’s. And it’s using a lot more formats.

    It’s good to see some competition though, especially as it will put pressure on the price for these devices….

  15. Interesting, though overhere in the Netherlands @ selected bookshops you can already buy an ebook reader (http://www.irextechnologies.com/). In Belgium a newspaper has been testing it, and currently there’s a test in the Netherlands with selected newspapers as well.

    It definitely is more expensive (Eur 649), but then you can also take notes with it, and annotate PDF’s. And it’s using a lot more formats.

    It’s good to see some competition though, especially as it will put pressure on the price for these devices….

  16. Why didn’t we see an eBook reader from Redmond?

    Quick follow up on James’ post regarding today’s upcoming announcement from Amazon. The Kindle should be unveiled under an hour from the time I write this. As an avid eBook reader, I wanted to comment on something but it looks like Robert Scoble beat…

  17. While “the iPod of …” has become a cliché to describe any product with a semblance of distilled design sensibilities emanating from Cupertino, there is one fundamental strategic reason why Kindle won’t be like the iPod: content. The iPod had it, Kindle doesn’t. Read why here:

    “Why is the new Kindle eBook reader from Amazon and not Apple?”
    http://counternotions.com/2007/11/19/kindle-vs-iphone/

  18. While “the iPod of …” has become a cliché to describe any product with a semblance of distilled design sensibilities emanating from Cupertino, there is one fundamental strategic reason why Kindle won’t be like the iPod: content. The iPod had it, Kindle doesn’t. Read why here:

    “Why is the new Kindle eBook reader from Amazon and not Apple?”
    http://counternotions.com/2007/11/19/kindle-vs-iphone/

  19. “Turned out that Amazon did it first and did a kick-ass job on it.”

    Since it doesn’t support PDF, I see it the same way I would see a music player that doesn’t support MP3 – no buy and definitely not kick-ass. If I can’t put all my previously bought PDFs on it then it is not useful. I will wait for another attempt by Sony (maybe they will finally get PDFs right) or wait for someone else.

  20. “Turned out that Amazon did it first and did a kick-ass job on it.”

    Since it doesn’t support PDF, I see it the same way I would see a music player that doesn’t support MP3 – no buy and definitely not kick-ass. If I can’t put all my previously bought PDFs on it then it is not useful. I will wait for another attempt by Sony (maybe they will finally get PDFs right) or wait for someone else.