Seattle - As the e-book wars heat up, Amazon.com announced today a "Kindle for PC" free software download that lets users buy e-books from Amazon directly from their PC for the first time.
Previously, Amazon required users purchase a Kindle or an iPhone/iPod Touch to buy from its Kindle e-bookstore.
The new Kindle for PC app from www.amazon.com/kindlestore will be available next month. It was unveiled today at Microsoft's Windows 7 launch event in New York City, and lets Amazon match similar PC capability offered by rival e-book sellers, including BarnesandNoble.com and the eBook Store from Sony.
By extension the app adds more capability to the Kindle because now users can start reading on a Kindle or iPhone and switch to a PC. The app bookmarks their place so they resume reading where they left off across all devices.
Sony's eBook Store and BarnesandNoble.com are compatible with a Mac or PC, while Amazon for PC is compatible only with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. Amazon said its app takes advantage of Windows Touch technology in Windows 7, as users may zoom in and out of text with a pinch of the fingers and a future Windows 7 release will also let users turn pages with a finger swipe.
The new app also lets users choose among 10 different font sizes. It gives PC access to Amazon.com's 360,000 e-books with newly released best sellers available at $9.99.
Users can sign up to receive notice of when Amazon for PC is available here.