My good friends at Microsoft Press note that their imprint now includes 370ish DRM-free titles. That includes Windows 7 Inside Out, which is available (just as its shelfmates are) in four—no, wait, now it’s five digital formats. You can download any or all of the formats, and you get lifetime access to purchases as well. Here’s a breakdown of which formats work with which devices:
- ePub works on the iPhone’s Stanza app and in mobile versions of Bookworm on multiple platforms; you can also use this format in some Android-based readers and the Sony Reader
- Android Package files (.apk) work as apps on Android mobile devices
- .mobi is the Kindle-compatible format (I’ve used it with Kindle software on the PC and an Android device as well as on a Kindle reader)
- PDF is probably the best choice on a PC but will work on any platform that includes a PDF reader
- DAISY is a format I hadn’t heard of before; it’s apparently a means of creating "digital talking books."
All of the e-book files are fully searchable, and you can cut-and-paste and print from them without restriction.
Of course, the book is still available in the classic print format from Amazon and other booksellers, which includes a PDF copy on a bundled CD. If you want one of the other digital formats and print, you can get a bundle price.
Finding the best price on either or both editions can be a challenge. Surprisingly, the best option might be a bundle that you put together yourself. Here’s how it works:
- Start by signing up for a free membership at oreilly.com (which distributes Microsoft Press titles).
- Next, buy the print edition from a retailer like Amazon, which currently sells Windows 7 Inside Out for $31.49 and has Office 2010 Inside Out available for pre-order at $34.64. Or, if you own a previous edition of the current title, you’ll get a 40-50% upgrade discount buying it from oreilly.com.
- Register your new book using its title or ISBN number. Sorry, English-language editions only. And no, they don’t care where you bought it.
- Now order the digital edition of the book you just registered and pay $4.99 for the full e-book package. That makes the total price of Windows 7 Inside Out (print and e-book) $31.49 + $4.99, or $36.44. That’s a big savings over the full $54.99 retail price of the exact same bundle at oreilly.com.
That $4.99 upgrade applies to any Microsoft Press or O’Reilly title on your bookshelf, making it a great deal if you want a copy for your Kindle or phone.
I’m still waiting for Office 2010 Inside Out to appear in stores in either format. It should be available in print around September 20, but look for the e-book sooner.
7 thoughts on “Microsoft Press dives deep into the DRM-free e-book business [updated]”
I’ve cancelled my Amazon pre-order for dead-tree Office 2010 Inside Out. Will most likely order electronic, maybe plus print. One way or another, I’ll buy. –John
John, ironically, you might get a better deal by buying the printed book from Amazon and then getting a $4.99 digital upgrade from the O’Reilly store. With disoucnts, that could be cheaper than the e-book alone. I’ll investigate.
Does the registration only ask for an ISBN or is there also some sort of registration code? Couldn’t you just find the ISBN from Amazon and then only get the ebook for $4.99?
Ed, I could end up ordering again from Amazon (they won’t mind). I don’t need to get the first book out of the first shipment. [I sort of did that once…I got an O’Reilly book from Amazon which had an invoice folded into it which gave me a look at the price Amazon payed O’Reilly in that quantity of that title. Amazon can afford the discount off cover. ;-)]
Proofread, John. Unfortunately, “payed” is a word…it just doesn’t have anything to do with exchanging assets. Grrr.
So does this mean that Win7 I/O does not have the book on CD like Vista I/O did?
Les, here’s what I wrote in the second paragraph after the list in this post: “Of course, the book is still available in the classic print format from Amazon and other booksellers, which includes a PDF copy on a bundled CD. If you want one of the other digital formats and print, you can get a bundle price.”
So, PDF is included with print. Other formats require a separate purchase/upgrade.
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