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Barnes & Noble and Microsoft Corp. this week completed forming Nook Media joint-venture (which will formally act as an LLC). The strategic partnership in Nook Media will enable the companies to advance digital reading experiences to the hundreds of millions of customers they jointly serve. Initially, the two companies will bring the world's largest e-books library into Windows 8 and Windows RT platforms.

“Nook Media is a leader in developing the next generation of digital reading and we look forward to the company bringing one of the world’s largest digital libraries to Windows 8 devices via their upcoming Windows 8 app. We are also excited by Nook Media’s product roadmap and expansion into markets around the world,” said Andy Lees, president at Microsoft.

Nook Media comprises the digital and college businesses of Barnes & Noble and will continue to have a very close and mutually beneficial relationship with Barnes & Noble’s retail stores. One of the first benefits for customers will be a Nook application for Windows 8 and Windows RT, which will extend the reach of Barnes & Noble’s digital bookstore by providing one of the world’s largest digital catalogues of e-books, magazines and newspapers to hundreds of millions of Windows customers in the U.S. and internationally. This will strenghten Microsoft's positions on the market of electronic books.

“As demand for digital content continues to increase, we are focused on bringing ground-breaking reading and learning content and technologies to more people in more formats than ever before, including the imminent launch of our exceptional Nook reading application for Windows 8,” said William Lynch, chief executive of Barnes & Noble.

Microsoft made its $300 million investment in Nook Media at a post-money valuation of $1.7 billion in exchange for an approximately 17.6% equity stake, with Barnes & Noble owning the remaining shares.

"The inclusion of Barnes & Noble’s college business is an important component of Nook Media’s strategic vision. Through the newly formed Nook Media, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Study software will provide students and educators the preeminent technology platform for the distribution and management of digital education materials in the market," added Mr. Lynch.

Tags: Barnes & Noble, B&N, Microsoft, Nook, E-Book

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