Nook deal lets Microsoft integrate e-bookstore with its software, services

New Metro app not bundled with Windows 8, will be delivered from Windows Store

By , Computerworld |  Software, Apple, Barnes & Noble

Rather than include the Nook app with Windows 8 and RT, Microsoft will mimic rival Apple, which does not bundle its iBook app with iOS. Instead, iPhone and iPad users must download and install the bookselling program from the App Store, just as they do other devices, like Amazon's Kindle.

Microsoft has not yet announced an on-sale timetable for Windows 8, or when Windows RT-powered tablets, notebooks or ultrabooks will be available. It recently said that the next milestone for Windows 8, dubbed Release Preview, will debut the first week of June.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will provide assistance and support, including devoting employees' time, to helping NewCo create and launch the Nook app.

Even as the Nook app's bundled-not-bundled question was answered, the agreement also made clear that Barnes & Noble and Microsoft envision ties between the app and other Microsoft products and services.

"NewCo will use good faith efforts to enable Microsoft Products and Services to be used with the NewCo Store and distribution system," the agreement states, also listing eight possible scenarios.

Unfortunately for the curious, the eight scenarios were redacted.

Elsewhere in the agreement, potential integration was fleshed out in broad strokes: Microsoft software and services will be able to purchase digital content from NewCo's store, and "interact with content from the NewCo Store and annotations to Content."

Those interactions could include "the capability to publish to, purchase or consume (including read or annotate) Reading Content from the NewCo Store," the agreement states. Microsoft also has the right to make a user's NewCo-purchased content accessible through any of its existing products and services.

Under those terms, it would seem obvious for Microsoft to modify say, Office, specifically Word, so that a user could buy digital content from inside that application, then read it there.

The agreement also devotes a section to what it calls "Microsoft Reader," perhaps a hint at Microsoft-branded hardware.

"If Microsoft creates a reader, Microsoft may include an interface to the NewCo Store in that reader and may surface in that reader all Content purchased by customers from the NewCo Store," the document states.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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