Kindles, books and appliance style software licensing

Luckily I did have some spare time at ODTUG last week, got all settled for some reading only to realize I’d forgotten to bring the book I'm reading.

I do like my books on paper and I like to own them. Yes, call me old fashioned – hey I read the newspaper on paper and even have it thrown on my drive way early in the morning – but I really like holding that nice hardcover book, reading about anything and everything.

Sitting there in Monterey without a book made me think. That Kindle idea is not so bad after all. No hardcover to hold and put in my bookcase, but I could have slipped it in my laptop bag and never noticed it was there until I felt the need to read...

Then I started thinking, well how do I get my books onto that thing… With an iPod I can load the CDs into iTunes et voila reusing my license. Darn it, the Kindle is like iTunes for LPs (ok, yes I know, that is old stuff – remember the round black vinyl disks with grooves). I can’t get my 200 books onto the darn thing. Ok, now I’m miffed. Amazon knows that I own at least 30% of these books as they sold them to me in the first place. So any chance for credits on those books?

Kindle_post_small.JPG

Then it dawned on me that this is all very similar to software licensing by Netezza, Teradata and other appliance vendors. I buy the box and the software (e.g. I have a book case with lots of books) and now I need a new box (e.g. my nice cool Kindle). Tada, here comes the bill..., because I get to buy my books – eh, sorry my software all over again. So I pay the same guys over and over for the same stuff just because I outgrew my original hardware platform.

Bottom line, I still may buy that Kindle, but I would think twice before buying into the Appliance software licensing model...

PS. I'm kind of short changing Amazon here. I actually like the Kindle! If I could just get my books onto it... and oh Amazon is just a retailer of course, so I actually think the publisher should be the one crediting me for ebooks - as long as I can prove I already own the book.

PS2. I think software should always be licensed perpetually. This whole "throw box away - throw software away" concept is a true hidden cost.

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