Adobe Digital Editions Beta – almost, but not quite?

Adobe labs has made the beta of Adobe Digital Editions available.

Adobe Digital Editions Beta screenshot

This looks to be a promising product, having yet another lash at the ebook space. To my mind, ebooks have been cruelled by a number of factors over the several years different vendors have been trying to get in on this idea:

  • the inconvenience of reading on screen (I still have to deliberately choose not to print before reading)
  • the non-tactile nature of ebooks (people like the feel of a book in their hands)
  • multi-platform compatibility (desktop/notebook/handheld and their various OSes)

I don’t think Adobe has these completely solved yet:

  • the tactile nature and convenience of books remains
  • Linux and OS X versions are yet to come
  • Digital Editions is cross-platform, being based on Flash and Flex (and a sweet example of this technology is certainly is)

While I have a great deal of respect for everyone I know at Adobe (they are all very smart folks), I don’t think Bill McCoy, General Manager of the ePublishing Business Unit at Adobe, has it quite right when he says ebook reading is reaching a tipping point (hey, I’ve just read the book) quite yet. That said, I’d be glad to talk with Bill and get his view directly; I’m open to being convinced.

JD has some coverage also.

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