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Google takes on Amazon

Google has one of the largest collections of electronic books in the world - through its Google Books scanning project - but it's never really been a player in the e-book market, because it doesn't actual sell books, only give them away (or give away samples). Well, that's about to change.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Google is gearing up to launch an e-book store, dubbed 'Google Editions'. It'll have its own site, but also enable people to buy Google editions from thousands of independent retailers. They'll be viewable on any device with a web browser, though we're guessing there'll also be dedicated apps for tablets and the like.

The launch has been delayed several times - Editions was originally supposed to launch in the summer - but apparently 'several technical and legal hurdles' have been overcome and a launch is imminent. Editions ought to have most books other e-book stores have pretty quickly.

The only bit of bad news - apparently the books aren't expected to be any cheaper than those for, say, Kindle, even though you have to read them in a browser. So that seems kinda crappy. Still, Google know what they're doing...

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