US-based bookseller Barnes & Noble has formed a partnership with Microsoft that’ll bring together Barnes & Noble’s digital ‘eBook’ and College education businesses. The new company will be a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble and will be 17.6% owned by Microsoft, which is investing $300 million in the business.
As part of the deal there’ll be a NOOK eBook application for Windows 8.
Microsoft and Barnes & Noble haven’t officially named the new company yet; it’s currently being referred to as Newco.
Andy Lees, President at Microsoft, said “The shift to digital is putting the world’s libraries and newsstands in the palm of every person’s hand, and is the beginning of a journey that will impact how people read, interact with, and enjoy new forms of content. Our complementary assets will accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices, enabling people to not just read stories, but to be part of them. We’re at the cusp of a revolution in reading.”
Patent litigation between the two companies has now been settled; Microsoft had claimed that Barnes & Noble’s NOOK devices infringed its patents. Barnes & Noble and Newco will have a royalty-bearing license under Microsoft’s patents for its NOOK eReader and Tablet products.