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Barnes & Noble, Microsoft in E-Book Venture

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Microsoft and Barnes & Noble are very much the eBook underdogs with Amazon and Apple’s iBooks store for the iPad dominating the market.   But Barnes & Noble announced on Monday plans to create a venture for eBooks with Microsoft taking a $300 million investment for a 17.6 percent equity stake.

The as yet unnamed company will be focused around the Nook e-reader, the eBook brand and the educational reading market. Microsoft and Barnes & Noble didn’t share much on what this will mean for users, but they did announce that a Nook application for Windows 8 will be available.

Amazon already has a Windows 8 app. Windows 8 is expected to be released later this year, though Microsoft hasn’t confirmed a date.

Microsoft and Barnes & Noble also said they settled an eBook patent dispute. "Barnes & Noble and Newco [placeholder name for the new venture] will have a royalty-bearing license under Microsoft’s patents for its NOOK eReader and Tablet products. This paves the way for both companies to collaborate and reach a broader set of customers.”

Barnes & Noble just released a new version of its Nook, the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio