Amazon (US) have now made the Kindle available as a web app. https://read.amazon.com/ will let you read your Kindle books online (or offline if you install an extension). So far it only works for Safari or Chrome, and only for the US Kindle store, but it should soon be available more widely.
This is a very sneaky move on Amazon’s part – they had a disagreement with Apple, who want 33% of the money for any book sold through the Kindle application on the iPad, so they’ve just made Kindle available for Safari (the browser that comes with iOS devices, I believe), with settings that are ‘optimised for iPad screens’.
But it also means that, once this comes to the UK, I can finally use Kindle ebooks without having to use any proprietary crapware or buy one of their expensive devices – this looks like it’ll work find on Chromium on GNU/Linux. This is handy since Amazon have a de facto monopoly on ebooks, and I’d like at least to be able to see what my books look like to the majority of people buying them (I sell maybe ten ebooks for every physical one at the moment). Previously, to buy even a DRM-free Kindle book, you had to have a Kindle account, which meant having the software (which is only available for Windows, iOS or Android, none of which I have) installed. Now users of minority OSes will be able to buy Kindle books (and convert the DRM-free ones to a proper open format like ePub if they wish).
Another interesting move from Amazon is the Kindle Indie Store. I don’t imagine anyone here will be interested in any of the promoted books, which look like the kind of middlebrow crap you find on the shelves at Tesco, all romance novels and misery memoirs, but it looks like Amazon are getting more and more serious about cutting publishers out of the equation altogether.