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Can Amazon crack the e-book conundrum?

It should be no surprise that the premier online book retailer would want to become the premier digital book distributor. According to the New York Times, Amazon.com is finally getting ready to show off the Kindle, an e-book reader that can wirelessly download material from Amazon's store.

The device is rumoured to be priced between $400 and $500. Besides wireless, the Kindle will reportedly include a keyboard (for notetaking and web browsing), the ability to subscribe to newspaper feeds, and the inclusion of free reference books. Unfortunately, the device purportedly uses a proprietary format so that books bought on Amazon can be read only on the Kindle.

Sony resuscitated the e-book market last year. Can Amazon actually revolutionise it the way it did for online book sales? Analysts are skeptical (so am I), but let's see what October brings.

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