Close on the heels of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) announcing the launch of its eBook service whose "buy anywhere read anywhere" theme took the online book readership battle to the front doors of Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Barnes & Noble, Amazon hit back, saying it will add two key features to its Kindle e-reader to fortify its position in the market.

Tech websites are abuzz with talk that Amazon will announce the addition of the new Kindle features as early as today.

According to Computerworld, an Amazon spokesperson said the new Kindle for the Web will "enable users to read full books in the browser and [enable] any Website to become a bookstore offering Kindle books."

The two new features that Amazon said will be added to Kindle will make all the difference, or in other words, fill the gap between Kindle and Google's just-launched e-Book. By adding a service that helps a user read entire books on the browser and by enabling websites to store Kindle books, Amazon will square up against the Google onslaught fully prepared.

Analysts say a spruced up Kindle will give Google eBook a run for its money as Amazon can leverage its early advantage, while for Google, it is a new market. Though the device is not ready yet, it could be launched in January to coincide with the Consumer Electronics Show, according to a Gartner analyst quoted by the site.

Google on Monday launched the much-awaited open, cloud-based eBook strategy that is certain to make a dent on the sales of traditional bookstores and e-book stores such as Borders and Barnes & Noble.

"Today is the first page in a new chapter of our mission to improve access to the cultural and educational treasures we know as books," Product Manager of Google Books Abraham Murray wrote on the company blog late on Monday.

The launch has the potential to break new ground as around three million books can be downloaded on to an Apple iPhone, or other such devices through a free application, while the cost will be less than the list price of the books. Readers will also get to see a sample of the book before they buy.

"This is basically a small stake in the ground," MarketWatch reported Allen Weiner, a Gartner technology an analyst as saying. "You have to think about what this will look like in a year. It's a warning shot as to what's to come from Google in terms of the approach they are going to take towards a plethora of devices."

Murray said Google's journey has only "just begun" and that the launch of the Google eBooks was "an initial step toward giving you greater access to the vast variety of information and entertainment found in books."

It remains to be seen who will win this race. According to Weiner, Google will have to "prove to be a worthy competitor to Amazon, which has years with a global footprint, really strong apps on every device and a great brand," reported Digital Trends.

International Business Times, The Global Business News Leader

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