The nook is the hardware and the app. I'm not saying it's a killer app. iTunes isn't a killer app. Most people don't even like it. They put up with it because of the hardware. That's why software isn't the issue- it's more hardware.
They also put up with it because often times that's the first thing they are exposed to. Most people are exposed to the idea of the e-books through the Kindle and the Iphone E-book Readers but there's not one true software that connects their minds to all of these.
With that said, I'd just like to clarify that I didn't mean to imply the Itunes itself was a killer app.
You're missing one part of the point. Adobe tried to get into it after the market started maturing. PDFs have never been considered a big format in the game. The formats from the beginning were .mobi (which is now owned by Amazon), and .pdb (which is now owned by B&N). People try to compare .epub in the same category, but the format was not created until 2007... well after the other two had become entrenched. Though the market was not as large as it is now, it was large enough that neither of them had any pressure to drop their format and change to a non-tested format. And both had secure and non-secure formats, so it wasn't like .epub was offering something that wasn't there. That's my point. An open format can't be an also-ran, or there won't be an argument towards moving to it, other than we don't want to use a proprietary format.
Do you *really* think another format is going to come along at this point that's going to change the way that things operate? Unless it gives something radically new, I think you're dreaming. You can see that in the market even now. Sony has a hard time, and they have a lot of leverage behind them from other entertainment markets. Borders is a huge chain, but they came a bit late, and so are falling a dollar short... if someone that large can't make it, then who can?
Not trying to dodge the point but I don't feel like I'm missing the point and at the same time I don't have anything to add except for pointing out that I feel there is a contradiction between these two paragraphs.
With that said, I'd also again like to clarify that I never argued for the format being the game changer in any of my post. It's a possibility but format does not = entire software.
The format isn't the concept either. It's the content within the e-book, and that's what the publishers control.
Actually semantically you could make that issue even more confusing by repeating some of the taglines of e-book selling which is that it's possible to avoid the publisher entirely and be a self-marketing e-book author.
I'm not saying it's easy or there's not a strong pull against that trend for many popular authors but hey, it wasn't like I was saying the format is the concept either.
To continue that ... the exclusivity on consoles is *again* content.
Not really. If you're looking at it purely from a technological view, yeah it leans towards that but for the actual consumers many times it could be something other than content.
The reason that it works like it does is because of the number of publishers. There aren't as many publishers of books as their are of games. And as the number of publishers dwindle in the gaming market, the number of exclusive titles also dwindle. Have you looked at what's exclusive now? Only games that are published by the manufacturers of the consoles. That doesn't really create lock-in. I want infamous, but it's not enough to make me buy a ps3. But if a large publisher consistently made games only for one console, then that would be more of a draw.
Which is why I feel the current situation is much closer to the Nintendo/Sega era than the analogy with RIAA but again it's all perspective. I don't really have a disagreement with your stance. Just adding my own 2 cents.
The killer app analogy doesn't really equate in this situation. A killer app is something that is content that sells hardware.
It's actually interesting. For me and my knowledge of the general hype of the title "killer app" back then was that you couldn't define it. You could explain it afterwards and justify it but for the most part, it's not "anything".
After all if it's something that "just works" then there's no point of differentiating between a killer app that changes the consumer culture of a market from that of a merely great app that the market finally accept.
As you said it starts a critical mass. My perspective for the future of e-book adoption is that.
With consoles, they have exclusives that everyone *has* to have... and once it's in their possession, the sales of other things on the console rise because people now have the big investment part out of the way.
...and I don't consider exclusive videogame titles (at least most of them) as equivalent to a killer app critical mass acception.
With the kindle, there was no killer book that made people buy the kindle. It was bought because it was cool, and useable, and people could consume books on it. *Any* device that could have satisfied those needs would have slipped into the same profitable area. It was just the Kindle that did it first, right as there was a critical mass of ebooks starting in the market. That's one of the reasons that they bought the .mobi format rather than making their own- it was proven, and there were *already* books in that format; only minor tweaking was needed to bring the content to market.
Actually if it was proven, then the market model wouldn't be stifled by DRM currently.
There's a difference between an existing market and a market that's ready for critical mass.
Same thing with the netbook analogy. You could always argue netbooks were close to possible; and really the OLPC wasn't selling itself as a netbook.
For me also, there wasn't a critical mass for e-books then. There was a growing market and Amazon tried to capitalize on it but if there was really a critical mass, you'd see it first in the shops and stores and libraries and how it cuts away at a huge element of real books.
That didn't happen because there really was no critical mass. Critical mass for me it's not just some fad that suddenly disappears and yet that's kind of the situation e-books have now. The focus is all on readers and price and DRM because frankly a single e-book is not as notable a discussion compared to the entire genre yet and it's like that because there's no critical mass that could have occurred. Not to mention again, the very nature of the word "critical", it's not something that evokes the image of being stifled secretly.