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But denies pictures to foreigners

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Amazon has confirmed it will grace Apple users with its desktop version of Kindle.

Last week Amazon jumped onto the Windows 7 bandwagon, announcing an e-reader application for the long-awaited operating system.

However, the etailing giant has quietly announced that it will also launch the software on OSX.

The software version of the Kindle will be a free download and offer all the functionality of the hardware version. This includes synchronised bookmarks and notes, which is good to hear as those who've shelled out for the International edition of the Kindle hardware are discovering just how little functionality Amazon is making available to users outside the USA.

The original Kindle was a 3G (CDMA) device, with connectivity for its Whispernet provided by Sprint in the USA and billed to Amazon, who makes the money back on book sales and magazine subscriptions. The International Edition has a 3G (GSM) radio in it, so can be used anywhere. But Amazon hasn't negotiated agreements abroad so pays roaming rates for the data: incentive enough to count every byte.

That means disabling the browser and blog feeds, as announced, but PC Pro reports that graphics didn't appear when it tried the device in the UK, even when embedded in a UK newspaper, as Amazon admitted:

"Newspapers and magazines delivered outside the US will not include photos and other images."

All of which makes a software download even more attractive, and competitive with Adobe's Digital Editions platform, which already allows reading of books and periodicals on desktop computers, as well as being compatible with various electronic-ink-based devices.

Two of those devices - the iRex DR800SG and Sony's Daily Edition - have 3G (GSM) radios in them to compete with the Kindle. We're still waiting to see what kind of connectivity deal those companies can strike with the network operators. Whatever they come up with, it can't be worse than Amazon's, which is clearly aimed at the US customer who travels rather than any serious assault on the international market. ®

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