Today, Google unveiled "Google eBooks", with its own online bookstore and a selection of 3 million books that will undoubtedly grow.
The service will allow you to read an ebook on virtually any electronic/computing device with a Web browser. iPhones, Android phones, computers, iPads, and Nook and Sony e-readers -- all presumably will have access to Google eBooks. And there's no limit on how many ebooks you can store.
It's a cloud-based book service that Google claims is the largest in the world -- they also have a lot of free books which they've been accumulating since 2004 as part of their Google Books effort. A Google blog post today officially announced the service, which had been expected for awhile.
Book lovers of the electronic persuasion now have a ton of options for accessing ebooks. Apple has their iBooks platform, which right now is only for Apple devices. Amazon's Kindle is both a device and a platform.
The Kindle electronic reader is a platform available not only on the Amazon device, but also on smartphones and computers. And of course you have other ebooks options from competitors like Barnes and Noble.
Right now, however, Amazon and, to a lesser extent, Apple, have a lead in the ebooks space. I wonder how difficult it will be for Google to attract loyal customers without offering a dedicated e-reader device, the way Amazon offers the Kindle and Apple has its iPad.
Will discerning e-book customers be satisfied with the Web browser experience when it comes to reading ebooks? We'll see.