Friday, May 18, 2007

Future, book, the, of

Snaffled from another blog, Bill Gates:

"Reading is going to go completely online. We believe that as we get the smaller form factor, the screen has gotten good enough. Why is reading online better? It's up to date, you can navigate, you can follow links. The ads in the online reading are completely targeted as opposed to just being run-of-print, where many of the readers will find them completely irrelevant. The ads can be in new and richer formats. In fact the only drawbacks of the digital form are the things associated with the device: how big is it, heavy is it, how many hours of power does it have, how much do I have to spend to buy it? But those are things that once you achieve that threshold, in terms of the convenience and the cost, then you see a dramatic change in behavior. Today, for people who read newspapers and magazines, even the most avid PC user probably still does quite a bit of reading on print. As the device moves down in size and simplicity, that will change, and so somewhere in the next five-year period we'll hit that transition point, and things will be even more dramatic than they are today."

And from one of the comments:

"This debate always annoys me. As publishers we need to be thinking beyond content and toward environments and lifestyles - how, why, and where are our customers using our products. How can we make their lives easier or more enjoyable?"

(Thinks) Hmm... Think beyond content... Environment v. lifestyle... The Customer/Product dynamic... Make reading easier and more enjoyable...

No, sorry. That is just one of the stupidest bloody things I've ever heard anyone say.

And I can see the pitch from Gates...

New! Improved! Windows Eugenic edition 2028.

Download your personality onto your hard drive!




We have created a unique 'human' style interface where you can make the most of your amazing self. Tired of organic material? Simple, your brain on our hard drive means never having to go to the toilet again!

Oh gawd, it's only 10 o'clock but I already need a lie down...


  1. I liked:

    "The ads in the online reading are completely targeted"

    Moby Dick - in association with P&O ferries!

  2. Anna Karenina - brought to you by Virgin Trains!

  3. I was just reading here (scroll down to "Billionaire Book Collectors") and feeling OK about Bill Gates. Now though I realise why he is collecting manuscripts - much easier to scan!