Kindle Format 8: Amazon Goes To eBook War Again

Kindle Format 8: Announcing HTML5 Support in Kindle Format 8

See the HTML tags here.

Well, this is a new nuke lobbed by Amazon.

Everyone has hated the Mobipocket file format.

So Amazon is finally dumping it.

I think several factors have contributed to this:

1) The surprise success of Barnes & Noble’s NookColor
2) How eBooks look so much better on the iPad
3) The finalization of the new ePub 3 specification
4) Amazon creating the Fire tablet

In short: competition from more than just one corner (the one corner having been, up until recently, Sony with its Reader).

I have a bunch of questions:

1) Will the hardware of the new eInk Kindles handle this well?

2) Will it balloon the eBook file size (leading to fewer books stored internally on an eInk Kindle)?

3) Will Amazon transparently swap out legacy Mobi/Kindle formatted eBooks for this new format?

4) How will this fit into existing publisher workflows?

5) I don’t see any tags specifically for the new X-ray feature, so how does X-ray fit in? (They do, however, warn: “Lists the major enhancements in KF8 though it is not exhaustive”)

For all those who’ve said over and over again that Amazon will dump its own file format and adopt ePub, I think you’ve gotten your Final Answer from Amazon: NO.

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5 Comments

Filed under Amazon Kindle

5 responses to “Kindle Format 8: Amazon Goes To eBook War Again

  1. Pingback: News Bits and Bytes for 10-20-2011 | The eBook Evangelist

  2. Read the FAQ on the page:

    The format will be rolled out to the latest Kindle eink devices.

    They won’t swap out when they don’t have to. But they do talk about providing information on “how to update your existing titles to take advantage of new capabilities in KF8” in the updated publishing guidelines.

    My guess is that the X-Ray feature is probably a text-search-based thing, not a semantic tags thing so the format won’t have anything to do with it.

    • mikecane

      I did read the FAQ, which is why I asked about the eInk devices being able to handle it. I don’t know if the eInk devices have the same CPU, and internal throughput, speed as the Fire.

  3. Ned Nedson

    The fact that Kindles do NOT support the standard ePub ebook format is the primary reason I never recommend that someone buy a Kindle.

    I have expected that the new Kindle Fire would support ePub but it looks like that is not the case.

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