By Devin Coldewey
Borders has been rather marginalized in the e-book wars thus far, not having the primacy of Amazon nor the sexy Nookiness of B&N. I liked their official e-reader, the Kobo, but until my opinion counts for points in the market, that doesn’t really improve their position. As promised, Borders is at last rolling out their e-book store today; it’s “powered by Kobo,” which I believe translates to “is Kobo with a layer of paint on top.” The selection should be the same as the existing Kobobooks site, but Borders has their own look and is launching its own versions of the Kobo e-book app (now available for iPhone, Blackberry, and Android).
What will come of this? Well, competition is good, right? I say bring it on. John thinks the Kindle has already won, but Barnes & Noble is optimistic, and Borders isn’t looking for higher than 17% of the e-book market. Can’t they all just get along?
One thing to note: it’s Kobo-powered, but it’s not actually Kobo. If you have books you bought from Kobobooks, they won’t transfer to Borders. Query: if the selection is the same, and the apps are the same, why not just go to Kobo in the first place? I’m guessing Borders will have special pricing and promotions as well as some in-store promotions.
Here’s what it looks like — or you could just go to the site itself and see it live.