The Ubuntu Software Center, which was originally known as the Ubuntu Software Store has been expanding a lot since its introduction back in Ubuntu 9.10. Beyond just replacing Synaptic as the default package management GUI in Ubuntu, the Software Center for Canonical's operating system has been extended over succeeding Ubuntu releases to offer support for reviews, purchasing paid Linux applications, and other enhancements as it tries to become more user-friendly and follow the ways of Apple's App Store and other competing platforms. The latest move is to offer support from the Ubuntu Software Center to purchase electronic books and magazines.
Canonical has already been selling music via Ubuntu One (do you actually know anyone though who uses this though as opposed to Amazon's MP3 service, etc?), but now the latest effort is about pushing paid books and magazines through Ubuntu's software portal. The initial books and magazines are coming from Canonical partnering with Pearson Technology Group and Linux New Media.
It doesn't sound like these books/magazines will be protected by any sort of DRM, but rather is just downloading an Adobe PDF version of the content when purchasing. "The Ubuntu Software Center brings together free and commercial applications, tools and games available for users. Through a simple interface users can find, select, review, buy and install software quickly and easily. With these partnerships, Ubuntu users will be able to purchase high-quality electronic productions of magazines and eBooks. Once purchased, users can download them as highly visual PDFs to their Ubuntu computers or e-readers."
Linux New Media magazines will be sold via the Ubuntu Software Center at $6.99 USD per issue. For anyone wanting to find out more, here's the press release.
Next week is the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando where other upcoming plans for the Ubuntu Software Center may be plotted.