Google will open an online bookstore this summer called Google Editions, competing directly against Apple, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. Unlike most competitors, Google plans to support many devices, and offer books from a wide range of sites.
Presumably, publishers will be able to advertise books online, and have the book downloaded directly from the ad. They'll also sell on their Google Books book search service, as well as enabling book sales directly from Web sites via some kind of widget or plug-in.
The upside to all this is that if Google is very open and platform agnostic about eBook format, it could force other sellers to follow suit.
One potential downside could be a conflict of interest with Google search tools that disadvantage competitors, and lead people to Google books.
What do you think? Should Google be getting into the book-selling business?
Go here to read the Wall Street Journal story on Google's coming bookstore.