German startup PaperC adds a twist to the idea of academic textbooks by letting people purchase a single chapter — or even just a page. Now, in order to raise funding it’s not going a traditional route: it’s holding a public auction.
There is lots of chatter and speculation around today over Microsoft’s $300 million investment in Barnes & Noble’s new Nook spinoff. BusinessWeek calls it a “marriage of necessity,” in which each side gets something it desperately needs: cash and global scale on the part of B&N, and a toe-hold in the e-reader/tablet hardware market for Microsoft. CNET calls it “a gamble,” and The Street says hold the champagne. One wrinkle in the deal that has gotten comparatively little attention, though, is the inclusion of B&N’s college bookstore division. As B&N noted in its press release, that division includes Nook Study, a pilot education technology platform that provides discounted e-textbooks, library features, note taking and sharing, assignment filing and other features, which are integrated with the Nook hardware. Assuming Microsoft transitions Nook from Android to Windows 8, and puts its resources and engineering muscle behind developing the Nook Study platform, the deal could go a long way toward helping Microsoft insinuate Windows into the college and educational market, where Apple is currently dominant.
Chegg, a Santa Clara, Calif.–based startup that made its name in textbook rentals, has made its first piece of software that it says will aid the transition to digital learning for students by offering e-textbooks that act an awful lot like physical textbooks.
Inkling, the company that makes interactive, digital versions of textbooks for the iPad, is set to release its version of The Professional Chef, the official textbook of The Culinary Institute of America. It’s the first Inkling title that could have major appeal beyond the classroom.
This week Inkling debuted the 2.0 version of its software, which makes interactive and digital versions of college textbooks for the iPad. So GigaOM headed over to Inkling’s San Francisco headquarters to get an in-person demo from founder and CEO Matt MacInnis.
It’s no secret that most college students aren’t crazy about textbooks. But will moving required reading materials to an e-book format really change all that? Recent market research indicates that it just might — and that college students are demanding to go digital more than ever before.
Apple (s aapl) tablet rumors are swirling once again, and it looks like we might be able to put our hands on the mythical iTablet sometime early next year. The question that everyone is asking is where the device’s niche will be. Tablets have been around for years, but none of them have been what you would call a “success.”
One area of strong speculation is that Apple will position the tablet for the ebook market, which has received a major boost since the release of Amazon’s (s amzn) Kindle device last year. I agree with this analysis, but I think the target market should not just be e-books, but more specifically e-textbooks.