Posted by: crudbasher | October 18, 2012

Thoughts on Amazon’s Whispercast Service

I’ve spoken before about Apple’s weak spot. They are a hardware company that also makes software but they only make software to sell hardware. Got that? (see Apple’s Achilles Heel)

Kindle Reader (H/T Amazon.com)

Amazon.com makes Kindle e-readers but they do that in order to sell eBooks. So they are a software company that also sells hardware. It’s the complete opposite to Apple.

There is no question that Apple and Amazon.com are competitors even with different business models. Still, when it comes to putting technology in schools, I would prefer Amazon.com over Apple. Why? Because Apple will deliberately make product choices in order to prod people into buying more of their products. I don’t have a problem with that by the way, it’s probably good for the company.

I prefer more competition in all things. I think it keeps society healthy and moving forward. I tend not to like government solutions because there is no competition there. Government is also insulated from the choices they make for the rest of us so that gives them no incentive to get things right but I digress.

I don’t own a Kindle reader but I have purchased a few eBooks via Kindle. I have not, nor will I purchase books via iBooks because I might not have Apple products in the future. (not a fanboi)

Ok so what about this Whispercast service? On the surface it sounds very good for schools. It allows a school to setup a network for Kindle devices in such a way that you can join a new device to the system and they will automatically be configured just the way the school wants them. They can be restricted in some ways to help keep students on task and have certain eBooks and eTextbooks automatically installed. Still, Apple could do this too. What impressed me most is this line I saw on GeekWire. (H/T GeekWire)

Amazon says Whispercast it will also support “bring your own device” programs, letting workers and students link their personally owned Kindles to the centrally managed Whispercast account to receive content.)

See that? Bring Your Own Device is supported. I have made a case several times that BYOD will be the way that modern computing gets into every student’s hand. (see Why Bring Your Own Device To School Is Inevitable) Right now it looks to me that only BYOD Kindles would work but I can see them expanding it to other devices that have the Kindle App installed. (like iPads)

That is something Apple won’t do, because it would mean less devices sold. Military tactics indicate that an enemy unwilling or unable to adapt to your moves is vulnerable. Apple might be the most valuable company in the world but it doesn’t have to remain that way.

  • Amazon ‘Whispercast’ aims to boost Kindles at school, work – GeekWire
    • A new service launched by Amazon.com this morning is designed to expand the company’s Kindle devices beyond the nightstand and the beach, giving them a bigger presence in the office and the classroom.
    • Whispercast works with Amazon’s Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets, and also with Kindle apps on iOS, Android, Windows PCs and Macs.
    • Amazon says Whispercast it will also support “bring your own device” programs, letting workers and students link their personally owned Kindles to the centrally managed Whispercast account to receive content.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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