A while back, as some of you may remember, we mentioned the news that Barnes & Noble(NYSE: BKS) and HP(NYSE: HPQ) were teaming up to offer the B&N reader software as a prepackaged tool in many new HP computers. Well, it looks like Amazon(NASDAQ: AMZN) has taken the cue and moved with it. Today we got a press release announcing that, in the near future, Kindle software will come pre-installed on many ASUS models including the 1005PE line of Eee PC Netbooks and their UL Series of notebooks.
This isn’t necessarily quite as pointless as it seems at first glance. While there is no doubt that preloaded software isn’t a new concept, the implied partnership in this area bodes well for upcoming months; rumors that the upcoming Eee Pad tablet device will be unveiled by the end of this month lend some weight to this development. In spite of the shortcomings compared to an e-Ink display, these devices are useful and well-regarded as reading tools. Having an existing partnership for users’ ebook consumption needs addresses a key point in the obviously inevitable comparisons to the iPad that consumers will have to be making. There is some hope, it can be hoped, that a valid competitor is about to enter the market.