There is a lot of buzz that Barnes & Noble will release its anticipated e-reading device tomorrow. If the usual rumor sites are to be believed, it will have an e-ink screen, like Amazon’s Kindle, and it will have built-in wireless so you can buy books over the air, like the Kindle. It may do the Kindle one better with a touchscreen, and possibly Wi-Fi, and maybe some limited way of sharing books with other e-readers.
Maybe it will be better than the Kindle. Maybe it will be pretty much the same. Gizmodo posted some photos of the thing this week. It looks just fine. There is the customary hype over the device─you know, whether it’s a “Kindle killer,” etc.
But the truth is, as long as it isn’t a complete disaster, it doesn’t really matter. Barnes & Noble is clearly out to get Amazon, but it’s also clearly not counting on this device alone to do it. Instead, while the Kindle, and the Kindle 2, and the Kindle DX have been getting all the attention, B&N has been quietly sneaking up to steal Amazon’s lunch.