Google confirmed that they will be launching an e-book store called Google Editions at an industry event called “The Book on Google: Is the Future of Publishing in the Cloud Reports are that the service could launch as early as June to compete with similar offerings from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple.

Google Editions will be a browser-based service, meaning it will not be tied to a particular format like an iPad, Kindle or so on. Cached versions will be avaiable offline, and all purchased books will be available via a cloud computing digital bookshelf.

One thing that could drastically increase the number of books Google has access to is a settlement where they might have access to out-of-print books; right now, Google only has access to books with properly granted distribution rights and public-domain works.

Source: Christian Science Monitor