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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Cameron Crouch

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?