Google Editions launching in US before the end of the year, going international in Q1 2011

Admit it, Google Editions wasn't exactly your highest priority item among the things promised for a 2010 launch, but, according to Mountain View's Scott Dougall, the e-bookstore from the world's favorite search company will indeed make its debut before December's through. It's premised as a web-centric, buy-anywhere, read-anywhere platform, one that eschews the proprietary hardware and software model currently championed by the likes of Amazon for a more ubiquitous and accessible one (a humble web browser is all you'll need, which should make Tim Berners-Lee beam with pride). Small websites of all creeds, whether they be independent bookstores or book reviewers, will be encouraged to participate by linking their users to Google Editions of whatever scriptures they're discussing -- with an unannounced revenue sharing model keeping them interested. Retail pricing won't differ, we're told, from what Amazon and Barnes & Noble currently charge, which raises the question, what's the downside to Editions?