Archive for eBook Readers

Japanese ACCESS launches PUBLUS eReader with EPUB 3 support

World’s first commercial EPUB 3 reader with Readium SDK will be adopted by BOOKWALKER eBook Store

World’s first iOS supported EPUB 3 viewer powered by the Readium SDK

ACCESS Co., LTD., a global provider of advanced software technologies to the mobile from Japan today announced PUBLUS™ Reader* v2.0 which is an iOS-supported EPUB 3 viewer that incorporates the Readium SDK from the Readium Foundation.

The Readium Foundation is a consortium committed to establishing ePublishing standards. Going forward, ACCESS plans to enhance the environment for next-generation rich-content viewing utilizing PUBLUS Reader v2.0 with the Readium SDK. The Readium is an EPUB 3 rendering engine optimized for native apps on tablets and other devices.

PUBLUS Reader v2.0 initially will be incorporated in the viewer provided by BOOKWALKER, a Japanes eBook store managed by BOOKWALKER CO., LTD. The store already incorporates PUBLUS™ Reader v1.0 (formerly NetFront™ BookReader EPUB® Edition).

ACCESS’ EPUB viewer app supports both iOS and Android platforms . BOOKWALKER store now expects to strengthen scalability for future eBook in-store services with PUBLUS Reader v2.0, the world’s first commercial EPUB 3 viewer to adopt the Readium SDK.

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Barnes & Noble To Partner With Microsoft To Compete With Amazon And Apple In eBooks Market

Source: Techcrunch

Microsoft invests $300 million in new Barnes & Noble’s  subsidiary - Newco

Barnes & Noble has found a new, major partner in its fight to get an edge over Amazon and Apple in the market for e-books and the devices being used to consume them: it is teaming up with Microsoft in what the two are calling a strategic partnership, name yet to be determined. It will come in the form of a new subsidiary of B&N that will include all of its Nook business as well as its educational College business. Microsoft is making a $300 million investment in the subsidiary, valuing the company at $1.7 billion in exchange for around 17.6 percent equity in the subsidiary.

The news leaves the door open for B&N to eventually spin these off into a separate business altogether — or even sell them to Microsoft. And it leaves a load of questions about what B&N will do next with the Nook, which is currently built on a forked version of Google’s Android platform. The new company, referred to for the moment as “Newco”, will contain B&N’s digital business, as well as its College division. While Microsoft will take 17.6 percent, B&N will own 82.4 percent of the venture. This is a key way of getting more content on to the Microsoft platform — specifically e-books content to ensure that its Windows 8 tablets will be able to compete not only against the best-selling iPad but also the Kindle Fire from Amazon, along with the rest of the company’s e-readers. The Kindle Fire has stolen a march among Android tablet makers and part of the compelling offer is not only the low price ($199) but also the fact that it contains so much content, including seamless access to all of Amazon’s e-book offerings.

This is also a progression — a very big one — of the funding etudes that Microsoft has been making to developers to make sure they are making apps for the Windows Phone platform, a way of getting more content on its platforms, which, it can be argued, may have come too late to the market. The first product to come out of the door? A Nook application for Windows 8, the companies say.

And given that education has been one of Apple’s bigger pushes this year, and the obvious and close links between education and e-reading, it’s not too surprising to see that B&N has also put its College division into this subsidiary. Microsoft, too, has been courting the education market — making its biggest-ever cloud-services deal in the education sector. Nevertheless they have a long road ahead of them. In January, Apple noted that there were already 20,000 educational apps for iOS and that there were already 1.5 million devices deployed in schools, numbers that will inevitably have grown in the last 4-5 months with the launch of the new iPad and numerous initiatives to spread the tablet in the educational sector.

B&N and Newco will have a royalty-bearing license under Microsoft’s patents

There is a legal twist to the deal, too: the two companies say they have definitely sorted out their patent litigation now: “Moving forward, Barnes & Noble and Newco will have a royalty-bearing license under Microsoft’s patents for its NOOK eReader and Tablet products,” the two write in the release below. If Microsoft doesn’t use this as an opportunity of possibly persuading B&N to swap over to Windows 8 for a version of the Nook, it will also give it a very interesting inroad into developing more for Android.

As for B&N and the future of these products… this deal looks like it could potentially pave the way for B&N to spin off this business into its own standalone operation, if not into the waiting arms of Microsoft itself — long speculated to be looking at ways of gaining a stronger foothold in the area of mobile devices to better implement its bigger strategy. The idea of a subsidiary was something that B&N had first floated back in January, when it noted that it was weighing up how best to separate its digital business to “maximize shareholder value.”

There are many more questions — such as what this could mean for the company’s broader strategy for growing the market for the Nook (international being a key push that the company has yet to make, apart from some baby steps); and how well, exactly, those products are doing for the company: IDC puts the Nook’s share of the tablet market at just 3.5 percent. The company is holding a conference call on the deal later today and we’ll update as we learn more.

Comments on “Microsoft invests $300 million in new B&N subsidiary”:

Brian Daniel Gallof

It means next round of Nook devices will no longer run on Android. Let’s add the biggest forgotten thing to all this.. Microsoft was suing Barnes & Noble for infringing on patents.

Piet Opperman

Microsoft has become the fat kid who is always last to be picked for the team.

Sparta Kakanjac

I am on Amazon… the best.

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Barnes & Noble Comes To Germany

The second biggest e-publishing company and ebooks retailer, Barnes & Noble,  is taking its first step to enter the large European market by incorporating Barnes & Noble Digital Media GmbH in Germany.  The new company will be based in Berlin.

Along with the fact that getting an online presence is very important for any bookseller looking to take a piece of growing revenues for ebooks sales, expanding outside of the existing market is essential for B&N, as they want to get more interest  for their Nook ereader and attract more publishers and developers to its ePub ecosystem.

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E-book reader sales to boom as prices plunge

Rivals follow Amazon and cut World shipments of e-book readers with electronic ink screens topped 6.5m in Q3 2011, market watcher IDC has said.

That represents quarter-on-quarter growth of 27 per cent, and an increase of 165.9 per cent on Q3 2011′s total.

Expect even greater increases this quarter, IDC said, as the gadgets get cheaper. Not only did Amazon knock the entry price of the Kindle to $79/£89, but its rivals pushed their own prices down too in a bid to remain competitive.

Sony, for example, is currently selling its Reader PRS-T1 for just $99 – it’s still £129 ($200) here, ahem – in the States, which is a real bargain.

The US matters to Sony and others because it’s the world’s biggest e-book reader arena. It accounts for 80 per cent of global reader shipments, IDC said. Europe is in second place.

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