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Things are starting to heat up in the e-book market with Microsoft's recent $300 million investment in Barnes & Noble Nook digital reader. News of the recent deal sent shares of Barnes & Noble soaring over $25 early Monday morning. With the new investment Microsoft looks to challenge Amazon and Apple in rapidly growing e-book industry. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Technology Sector and provides equity research on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).
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Microsoft's $300 million investment will give them a 17.6 percent stake in a yet-to-be named subsidiary that will develop an application based on Barnes & Noble's Nook e-book platform for its Windows 8 operating system. The Nook e-book brand will combine with an education business that provides books and course materials for college students. This would allow Microsoft to enter the $12 billion education market competing with Amazon's Kindle e-reader and Apple's iPad. "Everyone wants to make sure it doesn't end up being just an Amazon world, or just an Apple world, or even an Amazon-Apple world," stated James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester.
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"The shift to digital is putting the world's libraries and newsstands in the palm of every person's hand, and is the beginning of a journey that will impact how people read, interact with, and enjoy new forms of content," said Andy Lees, President at Microsoft. "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."
Apple at the beginning of the year announced that they would begin to sell digital textbooks for their iPads. The company sold 350,000 textbooks in only three days after the announcement. "Our research indicates that Apple has a very strong following with Authors, Publishers, Faculty and Students and may capture 95% of Digital Textbook Market, while Amazon.com may only participate in the 5% of the market," analyst Trip Chowdhry wrote in the Global Equities Research report.
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