Do you recall that rumor from 3 months back about Amazon switching to Epub? Well, the new Kindle format that we discovered yesterday is a pretty good sign that Epub just isn’t going to happen.
In case you don’t know, yesterday I posted about a new format that Amazon just released. It’s called Kindle print replica (KPR), and it has a lot of details in common with a PDF. KPR is a fixed layout ebook format like PDF and it even uses a similar tool bar.
Here’s the thing. Amazon didn’t adopt PDF. They could have used PDFs if they wanted to, but instead they went with their own proprietary format. They went with something that was like PDF but that they could control completely.
This new format should tell you a lot about Amazon. They value control over usability. It should also tell you that Amazon’s future plans probably won’t include any open formats.
If Amazon ever do adopt Epub, I’d bet that they will call it something else. I also suspect that Amazon Epub format will not be wrapped in a Zip file (like the Epub standard requires). Breaking with the open standard is how they control their platform.
P.S. There is a long-running debate in digital publishing that Amazon may have just settled. Now that they have their own PDF format, does that mean PDFs are ebooks?