In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
Barnes & Noble.com has opened its eBookStore, featuring Microsoft's Reader technology for desktop PCs and laptop computers. It features works from more than 30 publishers and includes special promotions from authors Robert Ludlum, Nicholas Sparks, Orson Scott Card and Scott Turow. Among the major publishers featured in the eBookStore launch are Time Warner, Random House, Simon & Schuster, St. Martins, Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Walker & Co.
The eBookStore also offers free downloads of 100 of the world's great classics, such as from Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities and Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.
Microsoft Reader is a new software application designed to deliver an onscreen computer reading experience comparable to that offered by traditional paper-based text, the companies say. Microsoft Reader is available free for download at www.microsoft.com/reader.
With the addition of Microsoft Reader to the eBookStore, Barnes & Noble.com is the only major e-commerce retailer to support three formats of eBooks, says New York City-based Barnes & Noble. The other formats are Rocket eBook and Glassbook.