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Amazon’s Kindle Ready to Launch?

Rumors circulating back in April that Kindle, Amazon’s e-reader, would be launched in the spring didn’t pan out, but Publishers Marketplace reported on its home page yesterday that plans are definitely afoot for some kind of launch – even if it’s taking place in the most obscure way possible.

PM discovered metadata streams from the e-tailer that list “Kindle Edition” offerings for a variety of books, newspapers and magazines including the NY Times, the Washington Post, Le Monde, the Independent, Forbes, Newsweek, Time, the Boston Globe, FAZ, and the Denver Post. There is a single live link at the moment for a Kindle Edition of the Wall Street Journal–offered for one dollar, with a “subscribe now with 1-click” button. The WSJ product page also provides a glimpse of a new “Search: Digital Text” dropdown menu that does not appear on the rest of the site yet. So is this something deep in the works or, as Michael Cader terms it, “ghost data in the machine”? No one’s gone on record yet, and two publishing executives indicated to PM that the launch is not expected until this fall at the earliest. So it seems that Amazon isn’t ready to kindle its e-reader flame quite just yet…

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