Saturday, December 11, 2010

Microsoft predictions for ebooks in 2010

In 2000 Microsoft put out a timeline predicting what would happen the next 20 years with ebooks.

The prediction for 2010 was: Popular eBook devices weigh eight ounces, run for more than 24 hours, offer beautiful non-backlit displays, are available in flexible/foldable form factors, and hold more books and magazines than most university libraries. They cost less than $100 and are often given away free with the purchase of several books or a magazine subscription.

The Kindle weighs 8.5 ounces and cost $139 for the cheapest model. Microsoft was in the ballpark of being correct.

Here is the full list of predictions:

E-PUBLISHING TIMELINE

2000- Microsoft's Reader software for PCs and laptops ships. Customers buy more than one million eBook titles the first year it is available. 

2002- PCs and eBook devices offer screens that are as sharp as paper, with 200 dpi physical resolution, and an effective resolution of about 500 dpi with ClearType. 

2003- eBook devices weigh less than a pound and run for eight hours on a charge. Costs run from $99 for a simple black and white device to about $899 for the most powerful, color magazine-sized machine. 

2004- The Tablet PC becomes a mainstream option for computing. It is a pad-sized device that supports writing as well as eBook reading, and runs powerful computer applications in a slate form factor. More than half of all eReading is done on PCs and laptops, but dedicated eBooks, handheld machines and now Tablets account for the other half. 

2005- eBook title and ePeriodical sales top $1 billion. Many serial publications are given away free with advertising support that now also totals more than $1 billion. An estimated 250 million people regularly read books and newspapers on their PCs, laptops, and palm machines. 

2006- eNewstands (kiosks) proliferate on street corners, airports, etc. As usual, airlines offer customers old magazines on the flight, but the magazines are now downloaded to eBook devices. 

2008- eBook titles begin to outsell conventional volumes in most countries. The price of a new bestseller title is about $8-$10, but unit sales are much larger than average paper sales for similar titles a decade ago. 

2009- Several top authors now publish directly to their audiences, many of whom subscribe to their favorite authors rather than buy book-by-book. Some authors join genre cooperatives, in which they hold an ownership stake, to cover the costs of marketing, handle group advertising sales and sell "ancillary" (that is, non-electronic) rights, including "paper rights." Major publishing houses survive and prosper by offering authors editing and marketing services, rather than arranging for book printing. Printing firms diversify into eBook preparation and converting old paper titles to electronic formats. 

2010- Popular eBook devices weigh eight ounces, run for more than 24 hours, offer beautiful non-backlit displays, are available in flexible/foldable form factors, and hold more books and magazines than most university libraries. They cost less than $100 and are often given away free with the purchase of several books or a magazine subscription. 

2011- Advances in non-volatile chip storage, including Hitachi's Single Electron terabit chip, allow eBooks to store 4 million books - more than many university libraries - or every newspaper ever printed in America. 

2012- The pulp industry mounts its pro-paper "Real Books" ad campaign, featuring a friendly logger who urges consumers to "Buy the real thing - real books printed on real paper." 

2018- In common parlance, eBook titles are simply called "books." The old kinds are increasingly called "paper books." 

2020- Ninety percent of all titles are now sold in electronic rather than paper form. Webster alters its First Definition of "book" to mean, "a substantial piece of writing commonly displayed on a computer or other personal viewing device.".


5 comments:

Irony3 said...

Interesting to see the prediction of ebook kiosk in 2006. Books via wireless, both wifi and cellular, was not a technology that was being contemplated. (at least by the author of these predictions)

Bibliofuture said...

Prediction for 2006 was - 2006- eNewstands (kiosks) proliferate on street corners, airports, etc. As usual, airlines offer customers old magazines on the flight, but the magazines are now downloaded to eBook devices.

Current article - Are eBooks Coming to Airplane Screens?

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Jamie M said...

The prediction for ebooks for 2006 is interesting. eBook kiosks? Sounds good for the avid traveler who doesn't want to carry 20 books with them. The ereaders excel here and even light ultrabook laptops can be used as an alternative.