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Barnes & Noble rolls out browser-based eReader 'Nook for Web'
Barnes & Noble rolls out browser-based eReader 'Nook for Web'
By: Sneha Bokil-Paranjape

Barnes & Noble (B&N) has introduced Nook for Web, a browser-based e-reader. Like Amazon’s Cloud Reader, Nook for Web syncs with the latest page read on any Nook e-reader or device running the Nook app. The new platform is limited to PCs and Macs for now and doesn’t work on iPad.

The Nook e-reader was launched in 2009 to compete with Amazon's Kindle, allowing users to buy, download and read digital versions of books and magazines.

Nook for Web offers avid readers the capability to flip through the hottest digital titles and bestselling books right straight from their computer.

Part of the appeal of an e-reader is the ability to read the same book on multiple devices. Whether you’re reading your novel on a dedicated e-reader, a smartphone or a tablet, you can indulge your literary passions without missing a beat. Barnes & Noble recognizes this, and is extending its e-reader ecosystem to browsers. Nook for Web can be accessed through today’s standard browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

Books are presented as a two-page layout, and can be expanded to fill the screen of a display. Navigating to the next page is handled by mouse-tapping on onscreen arrows, or using the left and right arrow keys on a keyboard. To get bookworms to try the new system, the company is offering what readers want most: free books.

B&N is promoting Nook for Web with six free booksMap of Bones by James Rollins, Sex and theCity by Candace Bushnell, The Vow by Kim Carpenter, The Boxcar Children Summer Special by Gertrude Chandler Warner, Brave by Tennant Redbank and Perfect Island Getaways by Patricia Schultz.

The books are free for download from any computer browser through July 26. The company said that support for Internet-enabled tablets and smartphones will be arriving as well this fall.

Nook Tablet, similar to Amazon Kindle Fire, came to market as a platform for eReading. Barnes & Noble plans to continue its focus on the “reading experience” with the new version of Nook Tablet. The device will preload an advanced version of Nook Store, which will have some additional media options.

A big reason why many of these e-book companies have transitioned to web-based programs has to do with the fact that Apple locks down the e-reader app experience, since you can’t link to your own store within a non-Apple e-reader app. You’d think this new move would mean that iPad and iPhone users would ditch the Nook app in favour of purchasing and reading from the browser.

Earlier in May, Microsoft had invested a gigantic sum of $605mn in Barnes & Noble's Nook reader and college textbook businesses. The deal values the e-reader business at $1.7 billion.