10:55 AM -- Google's e-book store, Google Editions, will be ready by late June or early July, launching the search giant into a market that already includes tough rivals like Apple, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
The key differentiator between Google Editions and these competitors, according to Google, is that Google's e-books are read through a browser and therefore won't be tied to any specific device.
Google hasn't yet announced any deals with publishers, but they're expected to be on board. Evan Schnittman, vice president of global business development for Oxford University Press, told WSJ, "This levels the retail playing field. And as a publisher, what I like is that I won't have to think about audiences based on devices. This is an electronic product that consumers can get anywhere as long as they have a Google account."
In other news:
The winners of this year's Webby Awards were announced! Notable winners included Hulu, which won both the Webby and the "People's Voice Award" in the broadband category; Colbert Nation, which did the same in the television category; The Onion News Network, with several wins; and OK Go, which won the Film & Video Artist of the Year Special Achievement Award. Other Special Achievement Awards went to Roger Ebert (Webby Person of the Year), Amy Poehler (Best Actress), and Vint Cerf (Webby Lifetime Achievement). A full list of winners can be found here.
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch claimed on yesterday's earnings call that The Wall Street Journal's iPad app has more than 64,000 users after its first month. It's unclear, however, if an active user equals a subscriber, and since WSJ's app is free, this doesn't exactly equal revenue yet. Murdoch also said on the call that the company will provide more information on its long-planned subscription model in three to four weeks.