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Goodbye Amazon Kindle, Hello Kobo

This practical post will probably only interest readers who have had trouble reading eBooks on their Window 10 machines.

I was a satisfied eBook reader for years on my Windows 7 laptop. I downloaded a program, "Kindle for PC," onto my laptop, which enabled me to read eBooks from Amazon as well as from other sources, if I downloaded the eBooks with the Kindle format.

(Thus I spared myself the need for a separate Kindle gadget. One-application gadgets just bring too many hassles into my life.)

But the Kindle-for-PC program would not work right (*) on my new Windows 10 machine. (And yes, I was careful to opt out of S mode, since it is meant to enslave the consumer to the Microsoft Store.) 

I would have been willing to download the Kindle-for-PC program from the Microsoft Store if it had been available, but it wasn't.

I suspect a pissing contest between these two tech giants. Each wants to be at the "top of the food chain" and in a position to dictate terms to a mere "supplier."

A consumer is not shrewd if they allow themselves to become captives of any of the ecosystems of the tech giants, and that is exactly what you are doing if you buy a Kindle gadget, work in S mode on a Windows 10 computer, or buy into the Amazon Prime trap.

Moral of the story: should I have abandoned Microsoft, and switched to a Chromebook? (**)

The good news is that I got so honked off that I learned of a Kindle competitor, called Kobo. I think they sell Kindle-like gadgets at Walmart, but that would just be falling into the same trap.

So I downloaded Kobo's "Desktop" program to my Windows 10 machine, and it works beautifully. The eBooks themselves can be purchased and downloaded from the Kobo store. They are about the same price as Kindle eBooks. I'm not sure if there are as many of them. So for now, if I can't find the eBook at Kobo, I will deign to check on the Kindle store.


* It aborted during the initialization process. Sometimes the problem went away if I restarted the Windows 10 machine. Or I would uninstall the Kindle for PC program, and reinstall it. Neither one of these steps is fun to do every time you want to read an eBook.

** Chromebooks use Android apps these days, and there is a Kindle app in the (Android) Play Store. But has Google sufficiently booby-trapped their Chromebooks that I would become a slave of Google Docs, Maps, Photos, Music, etc.? (And waste Gigabytes of wireless data shoving things onto or down from the Cloud?)


Dave Davis said…
I got rid of my cumbersome laptop 5 years ago. I bought a Android tablet, that has a Kindle app. I spend the majority of my time on it reading books from the library. Oh yes, free books. Since I live in a RV I have no space for the 3-4 books I read weekly.
It cost $200, it never freezes up. I never loose data, I can read my email, pay my bills, order what I need, query anything, and oh yes I can read interest blogs also.

I'm so enslaved
Dave Davis, thanks for letting me know that Kindle works fine on your tablet. Presumably that means the Kindle app would work fine on Chromebooks too, since they can run Android apps.

It's strange that Google and Amazon are cooperating on Kindle, but Microsoft and Amazon aren't.