has announced "Kindle for PC", describing the release as "a free application that lets readers around the world enjoy Kindle books on their personal computers".

The US Kindle Store currently offers over 360,000 books, including new releases and most of the New York Times Bestsellers, which the company says are typically $9.99 or less and is apparently the only place to find some books in the digital format, Amazon is opening the store up to those who haven't bought into the Kindle system.

This move means Kindle books can now be read on the Kindle and the larger Kindle DX, on the iPhone and iPod touch thanks to the Kindle iPhone app, and now on PCs and laptops.

For those that want to read ebooks on both mobile devices and their PC, the Kindle for PC features Amazon’s Whispersync technology that automatically saves and synchronises bookmarks and last page read across devices.

"Kindle for PC is the perfect companion application for folks who own a Kindle or Kindle DX", said Ian Freed, vice president, Amazon Kindle.

"Kindle for PC is also a great way for people around the world to read the most popular books of today even if they don't yet have a Kindle".

Amazon says Kindle for PC will be available to customers around the world as a free download next month.