Well, it’s about time. Barnes & Noble is finally following up its string of solid eReaders with a web interface appropriately called NOOK for Web. While they are certainly lagging behind Amazon, that eBook juggernaut, this now means that NOOK books can be read on any device.
Things have been pretty quiet over at B&N since the announcement that they had sealed a deal with Microsoft to create a joint eBook venture. It’s not clear if this is a result of that partnership, but it is certainly a reminder that the NOOK platform is alive and well. Previously, NOOK users could read eBooks on their NOOKS or through associated iOS and Android apps. NOOK for Web now brings that experience to browsers.
In terms of features, NOOK for Web provides exactly what you would expect — synching bookmarks for those with an account, social media sharing options, etc. Interestingly, the service does not require a login to read samples and free books. This could be critical in building a user base, since shoppers can try it before they buy it all while becoming more comfortable with the look and feel of NOOK.
As far as the NOOK devices were concerned, I’ve always felt that B&N’s big edge was the familiar brick and mortar establishments. However, NOOK for Web certainly steps up the chain’s online presence. More and more, B&N is looking like a dark horse that could take on the Amazon/Apple digital hegemony.
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