In a scathing (yet hilarious) review of the Kindle, Robert Scoble – a former technical evangelist at Microsoft – states the following:
1. I want to meet the guy who designed the thing, and I want to beat the crap out of him.
2. It’s obvious they did not think about how the device was going to be used.
3. Amazon is a “cheap-ass company”.
4. In conclusion, “It really sucks.”
I take it he doesn’t like the Kindle device, fundamentally I think he is wrong, Kindle can be a success and whilst the Kindle does have its flaws, it certainly is not going to be a failure. Here are the 6 major criticisms of the Kindle Scoble cites;
1. No ability to buy paper goods from Amazon through Kindle.
2. Usability sucks. They didn’t think about how people would hold this device.
3. UI sucks. Menus? Did they hire some out-of-work Microsoft employees?
4. No ability to send electronic goods to anyone else. I know Mike Arrington has one. I wanted to send him a gift through this of Alan Greenspan’s new book. I couldn’t. That’s lame.
5. No social network. Why don’t I have a list of all my friends who also have Kindles and let them see what I’m reading?
6. No touch screen. The iPhone has taught everyone that I’ve shown this to that screens are meant to be touched. Yet we’re stuck with a silly navigation system because the screen isn’t touchable.
Now as far as I can tell, Scoble has 3 problems with the Kindle – Social Networking, eCommerce, and Usability. The usability seems fine to me on the Kindle, it takes about 30 seconds to figure out how to use the device and then it becomes second nature and most reviews have had a similar experience. In my opinion social networking has no place in a eBook device so that’s a moot point, however the ability to share your profile for thing like a book club might be something worth looking into. And finally eCommerce, the Kindle is a eBooks reader, not a supermarket! who wants to buy a toaster or mountain bike through a Kindle? I certainly don’t want to, I want to buy books and read on my Kindle. If I want to buy anything else, I will log into Amazon.com and purchase my goods that way. However, Scoble does have some valid points so the review is watching even if it it just to watch Scoble lose it.
You can check out the Videos here:
Amazon Kindle video #1. Unboxing.
Amazon Kindle video #2. Kindle first use.
Amazon Kindle video #3. Walking around with Kindle.
Amazon Kindle video #4. Mike Arrington on Kindle.
Amazon Kindle video #5. Books vs. Kindle
Amazon Kindle video #6. Me being a total jerk to Amazon.
Amazon Kindle video #7 (Interview at SF State University).