Today you seem to have made a move toward WalMart evil, and I am appalled. When I was told that people with the Kindle App for Windows 8 couldn’t read non-Amazon books, I knew there had to be a mistake. Instead, a friend shared this email from customer service with me:
Money quote: “Unfortunately, .mobi files can not be downloaded on the kindle for windows 8 application as these books are not compatible for kindle for windows 8. Only kindle ebooks can be read on the kindle application for windows 8. I understand it is disappointing and we are really sorry about it.”
To complicate things, this is a new and apparently deliberate action. Feedback from a different friend: “Been using Win8 since Dec. I haven’t had trouble opening anything gotten from non-Amazon sites (Smashwords, Project Gutenberg, web captures, manual, etc.) so far as I’ve noticed.”
NOTE: Only people who have the new 2.0 app seem unable to read these files.
This is part of their “improved” app, and something they are not calling a bug or a mistake.
I have recommended Kindles to students for years, and one reason is the ability to put my own work on there and see how it will look when published digitally. Sometimes you see errors or problems that didn’t show up when you were simply looking at a manuscript or screen.
I have been a loyal customer of yours for too many years. I have defended you against those who compare you to the Great Satan WalMart because unlike WalMart, you have reached out to small businesses and made it easier for them to exist and grow. I understand about bookstores and don’t diminish the impact you’ve had on them, but in the bigger picture you’ve given thousands upon thousands of people the ability to run businesses from their homes by selling through you. In the world of used books, this has been huge. I love books. I love the ability to put my fingers [digital or physical] on books from all over the world with one-stop shopping.
Bottom line: If the future of the Kindle is to become a reader for books bought on Amazon only, you just lost a loyal customer. Sony, here I come.