Barnes & Noble will distribute its free Nook Metro app through Microsoft's Windows Store, putting to rest talk of Microsoft embedding the program in Windows 8.
But Microsoft and Barnes & Noble will work on ways to integrate digital content purchased through the Nook app with other Microsoft products and services.
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In one of several filings to the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier this week, Barnes & Noble issued a redacted version of the commercial agreement struck with Microsoft, which invested $300 million in the bookseller's new digital content subsidiary and promised payments of another $305 million over the next five years.
The content-selling app designed for Windows 8's and Windows RT's Metro interface will be offered through Windows Store. The online outlet is now in beta, but will officially open alongside Windows 8 and Windows RT later this year.
"NewCo will develop and obtain certification of the NewCo Windows App ... complete development, obtain certification and commercially release the first version of the NewCo Windows App for Windows 8 (both x86 and ARM) in the Windows Store," the agreement states. NewCo is the temporary name for the subsidiary that Barnes & Noble created from its Nook and College businesses. For its $300 million investment, Microsoft received a 17.6 percent stake in NewCo.
Earlier this week, Microsoft declined to comment when asked if the Barnes & Noble app -- likely to use the "Nook" label like its e-readers and e-reading software -- would be integrated into Windows 8 or Windows RT. But the answer was tucked into the SEC filing all along.
Rather than include the Nook app with Windows 8 and RT, Microsoft will mimic rival Apple, which does not bundle its iBook app with iOS. Instead, iPhone and iPad users must download and install the bookselling program from the App Store, just as they do other devices, like Amazon's Kindle.
Microsoft has not yet announced an on-sale timetable for Windows 8, or when Windows RT-powered tablets, notebooks or ultrabooks will be available. It recently said that the next milestone for Windows 8, dubbed Release Preview, will debut the first week of June.