David Rothman, co-editor of the TeleRead blog on the ebook industry, compares the Adobe-Amazon battle to the one in the PC space between Microsoft and Apple. Like Microsoft, Adobe is pursuing a more open, partner-centric strategy, while Amazon, like Apple, is mostly going it alone.
"Amazon is saying: 'We care about the customer experience so much we need to control everything and not support standards,'" Rothman said. That gives Amazon and Apple "something in common: both are control freaks as companies."
"I would never compare Adobe to Microsoft," Adobe's Murarka said, with a laugh. "But yes, Amazon is taking a more active approach to creating an ecosystem around its own technology. But even in that environment, I see tremendous value for [Amazon to license and better support] PDF."
Observers remain critical of Adobe's ongoing push for PDF, rather than getting 100% behind .epub, as well as Adobe's pro-DRM stance. As Rothman said, "Adobe is controlling, too, but overall it is a lot more inclusive" than Amazon.