Microsoft invests $605million in Barnes & Noble Inc’s Nook e-reader.

Barnes & Noble Inc NookNew York: Microsoft Corp is investing $605 million over 5 years in Barnes & Noble Inc’s Nook e-reader and college business, the reports said.

Its latest move comes just 6 months before the world’s largest software maker is due to launch, its latest touch-enabled Windows 8 OS, and the enclosure of a Nook app on Windows tablets should allow them to vie with Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

Andy Lees, a president at Microsoft said that “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.”

A Nook app will be featured on any smartphone or tablet that runs Windows 8 after the latest software is released this fall. And Microsoft’s global sales team will begin endorsing the Nook overseas; giving the struggling bookseller a global reach enjoyed by competitors Amazon and Apple.

For now, the Nook is ranked 4th in sales with 3.5% of the market, according to International Data Corp. research. So far the market for tablets is likely to explode as schools turn to the devices for teaching and more businesses use them rather than laptop computers, analysts say.

Microsoft has been on a buying spree in current years as it tries to create a broad ecosystem of products and services for the Internet. Those acquires and partnerships have had varying success.

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