Amazon is doing itself a dis-service by killing Stanza

Apparently, Amazon bought the company that makes Stanza quite a while ago, and if one can believe what one reads, they did so for the sole purpose of killing it.  This is a stupid move on their part if true.

I own both an iPad and a Kindle, I use and love both for different things, and in my opinion they’re apples and oranges.  Reading technical books on Kindle is quite frankly an awful experience.  The translations of many of them into Mobipocket format are abysmal.  Sidebars are mangled into poorly formatted blobs of text separated from the main body by a vertical bar if you’re lucky, or maybe a different typeface if you’re not.  Lines are slung together, and pagination is utter hell.

Admittedly, this isn’t entirely Amazon’s fault.  The Mobipocket format is simple to be sure, but if enough care is spent it’s quite possible to produce eminently acceptable results, but as I say, it requires care, which is something most publishers seemingly aren’t willing to provide.

For reading prose, in my humble opinion, nothing beats the experience of an E-ink Kindle.  They’re easy on the eyes, and with many models you get free Whispernet book downloads.  Awesome.  Even when I’m using my iPad, I still do 99% of my ‘fun’ reading with the Amazon Kindle app.

So, while I’ll be the first to admit that business is war and taking out what could be seen as a direct rival is a smart move in one sense, in reality the consumer gets punished, and consumers rarely react well to such treatment.

People will not turn to Amazon because their beloved Stanza has exploded in a fiery ball of doom with the coming of IOS 5, they’ll simply turn to other alternatives like the excellent MegaReader application whose author is working very hard to cater to the Stanza users bereft of their favorite reader.

Dumb move, Amazon.  I am still a loyal fan, and this won’t in any way change how much I buy from you, but I am decidedly not pleased.


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