U.S. State Dept. Asks Amazon For Kindle Contract

The U.S. State Department is working with Amazon to potentially supply its employees with Kindle Touch eReader devices. The government agency has asked Amazon to bid on what could become a 5 year, $16.5 million contract.

According to a solicitation document for the bid, Amazon will host private government documents. Here is more from the document: “The Contractor shall provide an exclusive, private online document repository from which the Department of State may distribute USG public domain material accesible via 3G or Wi-Fi from the locations listed in Attachment A.

Why not an iPad or a Nook? Nextgov explains: “Other electronic readers such as the Barnes and Noble Nook, Sony Reader Daily and Kobe e-Reader were deemed unsuitable as they couldn’t offer the same the text-to-speech function, battery life and global Wi-Fi connectivity, the document stated. Apple iPad tablets offered unnecessary functions that presented ‘unacceptable security and usability risks for the government’s needs in this particular project,’ the documents said. iPads also fell short on battery life requirements and would not allow the State Department the same control over the dissemination of content.” (Via CNET).