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Books are dead. Long live books!

Marc Sanchez Apr 30, 2012

That might be the battle cry of Barnes & Noble and Microsoft, which announced a partnership this morning that will turn the Nook into its own business. It’s not quite a spin-off company yet, but that could happen down the road. As of now, according to Microsoft’s press release: “The partnership will accelerate the transition to e-reading, which is revolutionizing the way people consume, create, share and enjoy digital content.” Probably the biggest news coming out of the partnership is that a Nook reading app will be pre-loaded in all upcoming Windows 8 releases. That’s a lot of Nook.

All Things D reports: “Microsoft, which had completely ceded the ereader market to Amazon, Apple and everyone else, gets into the business for via a very small investment.” And by “very small” we’re talking $300 million, which gives Microsoft 17.6 percent ownership of the new endeavor.

Besides the Nook app on Windows 8, the deal includes Barnes & Noble’s college bookselling unit, which could prove to be huge down the road. Remember Apple’s announcement about getting into the textbook business earlier this year?

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