Kindle 2: More Open?

Finished the Amazon Kindle 2 e-reader news conference this morning, and you can read all about it all over the place, including my twitter feed, with hashtag #kindle.

I've asked for a review copy and will let you know (at Naked Media) what I think of it. From appearance, it's a next generation of the device: thinner, a tad lighter, easier to navigate with a new 5-way button, better resolution with its e-ink, and importantly, charging via a USB and a strong text-to-speech reader.

But what strikes me is something Amazon isn't revealing details about, but which has been rumored and CEO Jeff Bezos confirmed: Users will be able to read Kindle purchases on the Kindle 1, the Kindle 2 and unspecified other devices, apparently smartphones. A Kindle exec I asked wouldn't say which ones, or what the pricing or terms would be, but the aim he said is to have multiple devices. Bezos said reading something on one device, then moving over to another you'd be able to pick up where you left off. That's a tiny hint of the kind of openness Kindle will need, I think, to survive long-term. As I've written before, I tried to love my Kindle, but couldn't get into it because though it is an electronic device it is a closed system that doesn't allow me to grab pieces, move the pieces around, access them from anywhere and so on.

One other thing I noticed: the test customers on a video Amazon showed, maybe 8-10 of them, all appeared to be 40 or older, or youngest in their thirties.

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