Kindle for PC Now Available

By  |  Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 8:07 am

Kindle PC

[UPDATE: I tried again, and Kindle for PC is now downloading all my books swiftly and reliably. Not sure why it wasn’t before…]

Last month, one of the few new pieces of news at the Windows 7 rollout was the fact that Amazon was releasing a piece of Windows software for reading Kindle e-books. The software is now available for download–and the site says that a Mac version is coming soon.

I’d like to tell you what I think of Kindle for PC, but I can’t just yet–any time the software tries to download a book (including one I just plunked down $9.99 for), it gives me a cryptic error and tells me to try again later. Which I’ll do. But I like the concept, at least–I don’t see myself curling up with a laptop to read a novel, but I own several hundred dollars’ worth of books in Kindle form, and getting access to them on another device is a boon.

(Although I just realized: What I’d really like is a Kindle for the Web that would let me read everything I’d paid for on any Web-connected device, no downloads required. Wonder if Amazon’s contemplated such an app?)

Over at Wired’s Gadget Lab, Charlie Sorrel is intrigued by the fact that Amazon’s artwork for the Kindle for PC download page shows a book with color art, and he wonders whether the company’s hinting that a color Kindle is in the works. ¬†Actually, a color Kindle has been available since March–it’s known as the Apple iPhone, and it became a Kindle when Amazon released e-reader software for it. The iPhone app has always been able to display color images.

If Amazon keeps on selling Kindle hardware, it’ll presumably sell a color device someday, although someday may take a long time to arrive if the company is committed to the E-Ink technology. (I doubt that color E-Ink screens that are good enough to display satisfying pictures are going to arrive anytime soon.) But you gotta think Amazon wants to be prepared for the eventuality of color Kindle e-readers, and it’s already been saying that it wants to put Kindle books on a variety of devices. Color images in Kindle e-books are just concrete evidence that Amazon thinks of Kindle as being something greater than a single hardware platform that happens to be monochrome-only at the moment.

[CLARIFICATION/UPDATE: The Kindle for iPhone app displays some stuff that could be in color in color, but not everything. My copy of Nikon D90 for Dummies shows the cover and spot illustrations in color, but not photos…]


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. John Baxter Says:

    Downloading a book worked fine for me around 7:40 AM PST. (I then used the link to the Amazon store to buy a few books I had in mind but hadn’t gotten around to buying.)

    Very nice so far. Synced properly back to the Kindle after I read a few pages on the PC.

  2. ediedi Says:

    Why sell books in a proprietary format for PCs, requiring a specific piece of software? Directly sell the PDF, which one can view on multiple devices. Too complicated as it is now.

  3. maguay Says:

    I was able to download books right after Kindle for PC was released. I was only trying out free ebooks, though, but that shouldn’t change anything. Seemed to work nice for me. What’s really interesting is how this this is Amazon’s shift to being increasingly a digital distributor instead of just a standard store online – see my overview of Kindle and this at

  4. Duker Says:

    hmmm….so what are you going to want to read a book on other than the actual Kindle?

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