*BarnesandNoble.com, Microsoft to Launch Online Digital Bookstore

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Barnesandnoble.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are teaming up to open an Internet store selling digital books, Reuters reported yesterday. The books will be available for downloading and reading on a screen or in single paperback copies printed on demand, according to Gus Carlson, a BarnesandNoble.com spokesman.


Though financial terms were not disclosed, Microsoft will introduce the latest version of its free software for reading on screens as part of the deal.


The partnership came in the wake of several attempts to stake out the digital book market: Stephen King's success with "The Plant," which is downloaded on a pay-by-chapter basis; Random House's announcement that it was forming an electronic book unit; and the recent arrival of Samsona.com, which will offer the first three chapters of a children's book for free.
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