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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Will Sony Stiff PRS-500 Owners?

Those who follow technology news, particularly as it regards the various ebook readers on the market, will recall Sony's recent announcement of a partnership with Google that will provide free access to 500,000 copyright-free books on the Sony Reader. I was happy to see the announcement and anticipated downloading lots of classic or out-of-print books to my Sony Reader.

Silly me - that service is only available on Sony's newer readers. Owners of Sony's PRS-500 (I'm guessing there are at least 200,000 of us out there), the first Sony Reader, cannot take advantage of the new service because the PRS-500 software is not compatible with the Google-provided ebooks. Admittedly, I am not a software engineer and have absolutely no programming skills - but how difficult can it be to make updated software available for download from the Sony website that will let Sony's loyal early-adaptors participate in this new bonanza?

I wish I had an answer to that question, and I would certainly share it if I did, but I cannot get Sony to give me the courtesy of a response to my email asking them what their plans might be to add a little value and usefulness to my PRS-500. That's despite their email thanking me for my interest...blah, blah, blah...

Honestly, I love the little gadget and use it on those occasions when a book is too bulky to carry with me. I own dozens of ebooks and have traveled all over the world with my Sony Reader. Despite all the travel I've done with the reader, it still looks new and works as well today as it did several years ago when I first purchased it. It does not need replacing right now, but one day it will. Whether or not I go with Sony again over the Kindle II (or whatever the latest gadget happens to be at the time) will at least partially depend on what Sony does to share this book bounty with all of its customers - not just the latest ones to jump on the ebook bandwagon.

A word to the wise, Sony Corporation: loyalty is a two-way street.
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