Kindle Updates Coming: How Long Will Amazon Try to Maintain the Kindle as a Mainstream Device?

Imagine it is 2030 and you are looking about at this time when ebooks finally came into their own. I wonder people will look back on these times the way some of us (those who can remember) look at CP/M, the S100 bus, floppy format wars (size & density), and text-only CRT displays. That’s what I wondered as I read this pair of reports:

Wired.com: Kindle Software Update Adds Twitter, PDF Zoom, Sharper Fonts

SlashGear: Kindle firmware 2.5 imminent: Twitter/Facebook integration, ebook Collections, more

Amazon’s Kindle was able to finally gain acceptance for ebooks after a decade of false starts (Microsoft Reader) and minimal footholds (Sony, etc.). The Kindle as a platform is a clear winner in my mind. I know I’m going to stick with reading ebooks using the Kindle app on my iPad instead of Apple’s own iBooks. It provides a much better reading experience. And, searching for Kindle ebooks on Amazon.com is much easier than using Apple’s ebooks store.

The question is how long will Amazon continue to attempt to keep Kindle “the hardware” a mainstream product. My view is that it is and will continue to be a device for frequent ebook readeres (a book or more per month). The rest of us, I suspect, are happy to read our two or three novels per year on a smartphone, slate device, or the iPad using Amazon’s Kindle software for those platforms.