Amazon told the company’s “associates” by e-mail that as of May 1 they are paying “advertising fees” (their name for referral commissions) on Kindle book sales (and magazine, newspaper and blog subscriptions) for the first time since the launch of the store. Those fees range from 4 percent to 8.5 percent. At the same, they are reducing the fees paid on Kindle device sales to the same range of 4 percent to 8.5 percent.
In an interesting but unconfirmed side-effect, it looks as if Amazon has restored Kindle data to their web services program as part of the new sales initiative. Kindle data had gotten even more opaque when the etailer removed this stream of searchable information last year.
In other device-related news, Apple’s early advantage in the tablet market is looking even more significant. A source tells TechCrunch that the snazzy-looking tablet Hewlett-Packard displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in January has been terminated and will not launch. The supposition is that HP may use their Palm acquisition to drive a fresh effort at tablets. But it’s seen as a rejection of Windows 7 as unsuited for tablets.
Along similar lines, last week Microsoft confirmed that it will not produce the dual-screen tablet Courier that had been in development. Spokesman Frank Shaw insisted that the company never intended to produce the tablet, but that’s not what the market believed.