Adobe offers ink for e-books

Adobe executives this week announced the acquisition of e-book-reader maker Glassbook and a partnership with BarnesandNoble.com, and unveiled Web and print publishing tools.

Adobe will absorb the Glassbook Reader into an Adobe e-book reader that still reads PDF files but also includes its popular Acrobat Reader technology. BarnesandNoble.com will serve, at least temporarily, as the exclusive online retailer for PDF literature and plans to add on-demand printing services through its physical stores.

The Digital Printed Page

Viewable on Acrobat Reader and Glassbook Reader, PDFs are small digital files that mimic the layout of a printed page. Unlike e-book programs such as Microsoft Reader, PDF files can be printed, Adobe points out.

"On-demand printing is an integral part of the model around e-books," says John Warnock, Adobe's chair and chief executive. "It's more than just reading a bunch of characters on a small screen."

Adobe plans to use Glassbook Reader technology to develop a single e-book reader that includes digital rights management, says Michael Looney, senior director of marketing and business development for Adobe E-Books. Adobe already uses digital rights technology from InterTrust and Content Guard, which publishers implement for PDF e-books.

A competitor to Adobe's Acrobat Reader, the Glassbook Reader has an easy-to-navigate consumer interface designed for e-books. It, too, lets you print.

The reader has highlighter tools, a dictionary, and a library page that can be set for several users, says Marc Eaman of Adobe's ePaper Solutions team. "There's a link to BarnesandNoble.com for the bookstore to download -- and if the publisher allows it -- print a book."

Reading on Your Palm

To demonstrate the accessibility of PDF e-books, Adobe demonstrated an 81KB Acrobat Reader on a Sony handheld device running the Palm operating system. This application would compete with Microsoft Reader, which runs on Pocket PCs and Windows systems.

Executives wouldn't say when the Palm Acrobat Reader will ship.

"It's the same PDF published for the PC," Eaman says. "The text automatically reflows for the smaller screen size."

Ironically mirroring Microsoft's announcement with Amazon.com, Adobe joined hands with BarnesandNoble.com to make it the exclusive online retailer for Adobe.com PDF content, but only for a limited time.

"PDF has no peer in duplicating the printed page, and readers know it," says Stephen Riggio, chief executive and chair of BarnesandNoble.com. "The key product will be content that's printed either on a home printer or printing-on-demand service at Barnes and Noble stores."

Although Riggio won't say when you'll be able to order a printout of a Grisham novel, he did emphasize that books are going digital.

"Within five years, there will be a digital copy of every book in our warehouse," he says.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Cameron Crouch

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?