Microsoft Reader Launches With Free Ebook Offers

Posted on May 24, 2000

Microsoft Corp. has announced that Timeline, the latest bestselling novel from author Michael Crichton, is available free for immediate download from barnesandnoble.com in the Microsoft Reader format for the Pocket PC. In addition, fifteen titles based on the Star Trek television series are also available free for immediate download on barnesandnoble.com for users of Microsoft Reader on the Pocket PC. Random House is the publisher of Timeline and Simon & Schuster is the publisher of the Star Trek eBooks. The titles will remain free for a limited time.

This represents the first set of eBook titles outside the public domain to be made available for Microsoft Reader on the Pocket PC. Dick Brass, Microsoft's vice president of technology, said Crichton's decision to publish a major title in electronic form represents another important milestone in the development of eBooks. At the news conference, Crichton noted that eBooks and digital technology will continue to enhance the power of books in the lives of people around the globe.

``The convergence of the Internet and new technological advances in computing and publishing make reading possible in ways that could not have been imagined just one generation ago,'' Crichton said. ``With eBook technologies, books can assume new roles and forms that will serve students, workers, scientists and many others in transforming ways. At the same time, these technologies also represent incredible opportunities for authors and publishers, who can now explore new methods and vehicles for disseminating their ideas.''

The creation of a new Microsoft Reader section on bn.com builds on the relationship between bn.com and Microsoft that was announced in January. The two companies are joining to build an eBook store using Microsoft Reader software that will provide bn.com's customers with access to thousands of eBook titles for Microsoft Reader. The site will expand and evolve as more titles become available later this summer. Microsoft Reader currently ships with the Pocket PC and will be available at no charge for other platforms later this summer.