Dori says that she thinks the Amazon Kindle is a bomb, and she thinks that it will flop. Her argument is based mainly on its DRM. I think that it will succeed, become a big business segment for them, and will be the first of a new line. Neither of us has seen or touched one yet.
Frankly, I have a better track record on new consumer gadgets than she does. I think the benefit of being able to carry a ton of books with you, and get more at a moment’s notice, is going to outweigh the device’s negatives. And I don’t think anyone but techies gives a crap about DRM, as long as it is not so restrictive that it prevents people from doing what they really want to do with the device. Bottom line case: will the DRM prevent people from carrying around a crapload of books and reading them on their own Kindle whenever they want? No.
I think of books that I buy every year, such as the Year’s Best Science Fiction series. These are 650-page trade paperbacks, with lots of good shorter-length stories. Great content, and the stories are the right length for me to read in snatches throughout the day, but the book itself is kind of a pain to carry around. It’s thick, it’s heavy, it takes up too much space in my bag. Mostly, I only read these books at home, and that often leads to me not finishing them. Putting several years worth of these books in a Kindle and reading them anywhere is a pretty tempting prospect.
Yes, there are things about the Kindle that I think should change, and that I’d want to see changed before I put out my money for one. But they’re in the details, not the concept. Most of them are easily changed by Amazon as they fine-tune the device and service to what the market really wants (like device and services pricing). Some of them are unknowns, such as the ability of the Kindle to eventually handle PDFs. But that’s not essential, and my bet is that the Kindle makes it in the marketplace.