The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is set to launch their own ebook store, Google Editions by the end of the month. The idea has been kicked around since May 2010 and was initially set to launch this past summer. Scott Dougall, a Google product management director, tells the WSJ it is set to debut in the U.S. by the end of the month and internationally in the first quarter of next year. There's also word from some independent booksellers who say they have received their contracts for the venture from Google already, so it does appear that things are ready to launch.
What does this mean for us? Google is set to take on the big players in this space with a new distribution model -- web-based book reading. The goal is to have content purchased from Google, or any of its independent partners entered into an online library tied to your Google account, and accessed via any modern web browser. Of course plans for applications for popular platforms are in the works, and you can bet that Android is high on that list. While we don't know how well this model will work, you can bet devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab will soon be seeing some Google Edition love. [WSJ online]