Amazon’s Bezos on free Kindles, patents and MSFT

November 14, 2011

The price of’s entry-level kindle e-reader has been dropping faster than a dot-com stock in late 2000. That’s led to speculation the largest Internet retailer may offer a free version one day.

In a wide-ranging interview with Wired magazine, which ran late Sunday,  Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos seemed open to it. Check out the story here.

“It’s an interesting marketing idea, and we should think about it over time,” Bezos told Wired. “But $79 is low enough that it’s not a big deal for many people.”

Bezos introduces the Kindle 2 e-reader

The Wired story included several other interesting details. Bezos isn’t a fan of patents, for instance, despite the fact he has personally applied for patents in the past and Amazon is famous for its 1-Click shopping patent.

“For many years, I have thought that software patents should either be eliminated or dramatically shortened,” Bezos said. “It’s impossible to measure the toll they’ve had on the software industry, but on balance, it has been negative.”

If he had to give up the 1-Click patent to make this happen, Bezos said he would.

Wired also asked him about Eric Schmidt’s list of the four horsemen of technology: Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

Bezos said fellow techies across town at Microsoft should be included on that list too.

“They’ve done a lot of innovative things, some of which get overshadowed by their big existing businesses,” Bezos told Wired.

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