Google launched an online store Monday for electronic books, setting up another venue for the search giant's ongoing rivalry with Apple and Amazon.
Google eBooks are viewable using the Web as well as a number of eReaders including Apple's iPad, Sony's Nook and tablet computers based on Google's Android platform. There will initially be more than 3 million titles available to users, most of which will be free.
"When Google Books first launched in 2004, we set out to make the information stored in the world’s books accessible and useful online. Since then, we’ve digitized more than 15 million books from more than 35,000 publishers, more than 40 libraries, and more than 100 countries in more than 400 languages," wrote Google Books product manager Abraham Murray in a statement
"This deep repository of knowledge and culture will continue to be searchable through Google Books search in the research section alongside the ebookstore."
Users will be able to store purchased books using their Google accounts so they can begin reading them on one device and then resume on another. Most publishers taking part will use the "agency pricing model" with most titles costing less than $20.