Amazon to release free Kindle software for PC

Oct 22, 2009 By RACHEL METZ , AP Technology Writer
Kindle DX

(AP) -- Amazon.com Inc. is trying to get more people to buy the electronic books that are compatible with its Kindle gadget by offering free software for people to read them on a computer.

The Seattle-based online retailer said Thursday that it will release an application called "Kindle for PC" in November. It will let you buy, download and read Kindle books on a Windows-based PC, regardless of whether you own a Kindle.

If you also own a Kindle, you can see any notes or highlights made on the e-reader.

Amazon will also keep track of where you are in a book, so you can stop reading on your PC and pick up at the same place on your Kindle.

If you're running Corp.'s new Windows 7 and have a touch screen on your computer, you can zoom in on book pages by pinching your fingers. In the future, Amazon said, you'll be able to turn pages by swiping a finger across the screen.

The company already offers a similar application for Apple Inc.'s iPhone and iPod Touch that lets users read Kindle books whether or not they own the device.

Amazon is facing a rising tide of competition in the e-reader market from companies like Sony Corp. and Barnes & Noble Inc. already offers several e-readers, and both companies plan to release wireless-enabled devices soon that, like the Kindle, will be able to download books straight to them. Making Kindle books available to consumers who don't want to buy a dedicated reading device may provide another stream of revenue.

Also Thursday, Amazon said that it lowered the price of its newest Kindle by $20, to $259, matching the cost of a U.S.-only device that it is discontinuing. The new version has wireless access that works around the world, replacing a model that worked only in the U.S.

Just two weeks ago, when it introduced the international Kindle, Amazon cut prices for the U.S. version by $40, to $259.

The company still sells a larger-screen version of the called the DX for $489.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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