Digital electronic network and optical storage technologies are revolutionizing publishing. The new technology enables a disaggregation of value and an associated dis‐integration of production. The dimensions of new information technologies can be explored more carefully by thinking about ten discrete characteristics or attributes of information products, or “types of value.” A modern print publisher is a broker or assembler of all the types of value. Mechanical print formats will continue to offer better utility to consumers than digital electronic formats as long as they have more of these types of value than digital electronic formats. Lightweight “notebook” portable microcomputers, having most of the power of desktop computers, and pen‐operating systems at least partially satisfy the first need, the need for book‐size flat panel displays. Three inter‐related software requirements remain to be satisfied: improved browsability, zooming capability, and improved annotation capability. Network and CD‐ROM technologies make it possible for a larger number of competing suppliers of specific types of added value to offer diverse products, with some of the features likely to cause consumers to shift their preferences from paper to electronic formats.
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