The Kindle, of course, is not yet a profit-maker for Amazon, but electronic reading is often seen as the way of the future, so the battle for market share should be super-intense. (It's the rocking, cackling genius of Bezos vs. the unhinged, atom-splitting motivational-speaker intensity of Ballmer!) While Kindle sets its own prices for the books--they're often quite low, much to the displeasure of the publishing industry--Google would allow publishers to set their own prices (though it says it reserves the right to lower exorbitant ones). The consumer could then download the book from the Internet and read it on all sorts of devices--smart phones, computers, etc.
On the Give-Peace-a-Chance front, Microsoft and Google are at least talking nice in their battle for market share in the health care industry, where each is working on a digital health record product so patients can have access to their own health information. (Microsoft's product is also being pitched to hospitals. From CNET:
"I love Google Health," said Sean Nolan, the chief architect of Microsoft's HealthVault service. "What they are trying to do is a good thing... We are in the same boat. We're not really fighting with these guys. We're all trying to make it work."
The love, apparently, is mutual. "I think it is critically important that there is more than one company trying to do this. (Personal health records) are very hard to get right," Google Health product manager Roni Zeiger said. "We certainly haven't done so yet."