Files with the AZW file extension are primarily linked to Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle – an electronic book device that can store hundreds of books in electronic format. Kindle uses an electronic paper display for the e-book’s contents and it reads contents in an AZW format. The AZW file extension then is a proprietary of Kindle and of Amazon.com Inc. and can only be opened and generated by the same device and/or software. Kindle runs across Windows and Mac platforms though.
AZW files are popularly known to have an e-book format with a formatting which is kind of different from a normal text file. This format is designed to be loaded into Amazon’s Kindle device that will in turn read and display the content of the file/s. This file extension is actually part of Amazon.com Inc.’s endeavour to enter the industry of software and hardware integration. Amazon.com targeted books lovers and designed this device with the corresponding file extension AZW to suit this purpose.
AZW files are considered as protected files in a way that user cannot directly open and edit the content of these files using other programs or application. It is similar to a PDF file in a way. AZW files are protected by Amazon.com Inc’s digital rights management which means that these files are protected from malicious online publishing.
AZW files come with other resources that include metadata information like purchaser’s name, the book’s title and author, the date of purchasing the book and other important information that would tell the nature and the source of the AZW file. This prevents counterfeit copies made from the original file.
There are other programs nowadays though which are designed to open AZW files. These programs have a tie-up or agreement with Amazon.com Inc. and mostly run in mobile devices like palm tops and mobile phones. These programs include MobiPocket Reader and Symbian OS for small devices. These programs subscribed to the Amazon Whispernet Server in order to gain access to the electronic books that are compiled and distributed online by Amazon.com