Google plans iTunes-like service for books

Amidst its plot to slowly take over the entire Internet, Google is planning an iTunes-like service for books. As Times Online reports, the service will allow users to download books and view them either on their PC or on handheld devices like Blackberry smart phones (and, presumably, eBook readers.) Jens Redmer, the European Director for Google Book Search, told Times Online, "We are working on a platform that will let publishers give readers full access to a book online." Redmer says the service will offer users more options than conventional book purchases. "You may just want to rent a travel guide for the holiday or buy a chapter of a book. Ultimately, it will be the readers who decide how books are read."

Google reportedly plans to unveil the service "sooner rather than later." However, the search giant will face competition from Sony, which launched its Sony Reader device and associated online eBook store last year. Amazon, too, plans to unveil an eBook service in the future.

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