Books and bits united Monday as Microsoft provided an infusion of money to help Barnes & Noble compete with top electronic bookseller Amazon. In exchange, Microsoft gets a long-desired foothold in the business of e-books and college textbooks.So this is mostly of interest to college students, some of whom may be nerds, but who are rarely asked to read the right kind of nerdy books for their courses.
With Microsoft Corp.'s $300 million investment, the two companies are teaming up to create a subsidiary for Barnes & Noble's e-book and college textbook businesses. Microsoft is taking a 17.6 percent stake in the venture.
The agreement underscores the importance of electronic bookstores as traditional booksellers and technology companies jockey for position in the increasingly competitive market. While no definitive numbers exist, e-books are believed to account for some 20 percent of book sales in the U.S.
|Comp-lit students demo B&N's new, funnel-shaped e-reader|