Microsoft joins forces with Barnes & Noble

The software company announced it will invest $300 million in the bookseller's e-book and college bookstore ventures

L: Barnes and Noble Inc./AP
Their new partnership also means the litigation between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft has been settled, according to the companies.

Microsoft announced that it’s investing $300 million in a new business from Barnes & Noble that will encompass the bookseller’s Nook e-book products as well as its college bookstore division.

This will be a major move for Microsoft into the e-book business, which has been dominated by Apple and other of the company’s competitors. The new partnership between Microsoft and Barnes & Noble will include a Nook app that will be in Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8, which is due to be released later in 2012. Through the Nook app, those with the Windows operating system will have access to Barnes & Noble’s collection of e-books, magazines and other reading materials. The Nook app is now available for iPad and Android users.

“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,” Microsoft president Andy Lees said in a statement.

The move comes after the two companies became embroiled in litigation last year when Microsoft sued Barnes & Noble, accusing the company of owing them money from licensing fees because of Microsoft patents that were used in the Android platform, which Barnes & Noble uses for some of its Nook devices.

According to the companies, this new business venture has settled the litigation. Barnes & Noble will possess a royalty-bearing license through the patents owned by Microsoft for the Nook.

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

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