Microsoft to offer free ebook bestsellers
In an effort to bolster use of their Reader, Microsoft has embarked on a 20-week campaign that includes giving away electronic copies of bestsellers including A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, and Fear Itself by Walter Mosley. Each week, three different books will be offered.
Personally, I think this is somewhat of a desperation tactic on Microsoft’s part. They’re desperately trying to control the ebook space, but they’re being stomped on by Palm, suffering the backlash of having their format cracked, and people are staying away in droves partly thanks the obsessively draconian restrictions placed on book reading. In my opinion, Microsoft will continue to slip in the ebook arena until and unless they realize that the process of activating Microsoft Reader to buy a book is equivalent to being stripsearched the first time you buy batteries, and they give it up. Knowing Microsoft, don’t bet the farm, or even the manure contained in the farm.
PocketInformant updated to 4.5
For those dedicated PI fans, the newest version is now available. Among the notable new features is full PocketPC 2003 compatibility, a large number of UI tweaks, and some performance enhancements.
PI 4.5 is a free upgrade for version 4.xx users, and version 3.xx users who purchased 3.x after December 1st, 2002. Upgrades for previous buyers cost $12.48.
SAP partners with Sharp to sell Zaurus
Business services company SAP is going to use Sharp’s Zaurus line of Linux-powered PDAs in it’s mobile business services. This means that SAP will be pushing the Zaurus to it’s customers for integration into their systems. SAP intends to sign up 1,000 of its current 20,000 corporate customers for its mobile business services by 2005, which means that even if it only averages out to 1000 Zaurus units per company, then Sharp has not only gotten a big boost but also the opportunity to entrench itself in a space not well suited for Palm or PocketPC handhelds.