Amazon gearing up to take on Apple's iPad?

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Amazon seems to be gathering resources to launch a touch-enabled Kindle e-reader. The company is reportedly purchasing Touchco, a startup specializing in touchscreen technologies. The firm of six will be merged into Amazon's Kindle hardware division upon acquisition. Terms of the agreement remain under wraps, and an Amazon spokewoman declined to comment on speculation, as did Touchco's co-founder.

Touchco's interpolating force-sensitive resistance technology is said to be considerably cheaper than the capacitive touchscreens used in the iPhone and iPad, and it can detect an unlimited number of simultaneous touches. The technology can be used in full-color LCDs, and Amazon may opt for such a display on the next Kindle to more effectively compete with the iPad and other such devices.

This also jibes with Amazon's plans for a Kindle SDK and applications store, along with news that Microsoft's corporate vice president of Windows platform strategy will be leaving to work on the Kindle.

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