Amazon's Downloadable Software Store Open For Business

Amazon has launched its newest product offering, a downloadable software store, where customers can purchase and download software directly to their desktops. The store, which plans to sell software titles from Quicken TurboTax to Norton AntiVirus 2001, flaunts one of the company's inherent advantages over its brick-and-mortar counterparts: the convenience of technology.

"The benefit to customers is it lets them get the product right then and there," said Kirk Koenigsbauer, who runs Amazon.com's software division. "When a love-bug virus hits, you can get (anti-virus) software in a matter of moments."

With the introduction of downloadable software titles, the company is dipping its toe in a category that should gain traction among consumers. But electronic books and other forms of downloadable software will not become widely used until hardware companies produce better gadgets to read electronic books and more consumers adopt high-speed Internet connections that allow them to download larger software programs faster.

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