Ebooks are now in doldrums. Few people are buying ebooks. Not long ago, I, as well as many others, predicted an ebook boom. It didn't happen. The outlook now seems to be terrible. There are several reasons for this:
1 - Proliferation of Readers - Rocket, Gemstar, Microsoft, plus many more
2 - Expensive Readers
3 - Proliferation of Formats - exe, oeb, pdf, CE, LIT and many other alphabetical combinations
4 - Reading Screen is Difficult and Awkward
5 - Lack of Portability
6 - Obtrusive Copyright Protection - Microsoft Reader is a case in point. People don't want this. They want "fair use."
Despite all this I still believe an ebook boom is coming. The boom wasn't stopped; it was merely delayed. Within about 1-1/2 to 2 years we will see ebook business grow fast. It will not replace paper books, but it will be a strong rival, especially in text books, technical books and business books.
Why? Because of arrival of bluetooth technology. Like ebook, bluetooth has been previously hyped a little to early. But indications are that major computer corporations are finally beginning to use bluetooth technology.
Why will bluetooth technology make such a big change? Because it will allow you to connect any peripheral devices to desktop computer WITHOUT WIRES. This, in turn will allow you to make monitor portable. With proper design, portable monitor may also be an ebook reader. This ebook reader will replace all other gadgets and make ebook reading more comfortable and easier than book reading has ever been.
For those who would like to build a monitor-reader, here are some requirements that I think it should meet:
1 - NORMAL MONITOR FUNCTIONS - It should be able to function as a normal monitor
2 - COMFORTABLE AS A BOOK - The size, shape and weight of device can easily be made to appear and feel like a book. With a little experimentation cover of monitor-reader could be made as soft to touch as paper or leather.