Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will provide assistance and support, including devoting employees' time, to helping NewCo create and launch the Nook app.
Even as the Nook app's bundled-not-bundled question was answered, the agreement also made clear that Barnes & Noble and Microsoft envision ties between the app and other Microsoft products and services.
"NewCo will use good faith efforts to enable Microsoft Products and Services to be used with the NewCo Store and distribution system," the agreement states, also listing eight possible scenarios.
Unfortunately for the curious, the eight scenarios were redacted.
Elsewhere in the agreement, potential integration was fleshed out in broad strokes: Microsoft software and services will be able to purchase digital content from NewCo's store, and "interact with content from the NewCo Store and annotations to Content."
Those interactions could include "the capability to publish to, purchase or consume (including read or annotate) Reading Content from the NewCo Store," the agreement states. Microsoft also has the right to make a user's NewCo-purchased content accessible through any of its existing products and services.
Under those terms, it would seem obvious for Microsoft to modify say, Office, specifically Word, so that a user could buy digital content from inside that application, then read it there.
The agreement also devotes a section to what it calls "Microsoft Reader," perhaps a hint at Microsoft-branded hardware.
"If Microsoft creates a reader, Microsoft may include an interface to the NewCo Store in that reader and may surface in that reader all Content purchased by customers from the NewCo Store," the document states.
Although it wasn't clear from the agreement that the section was referring to hardware, not software, the same Microsoft Reader name has been used by the company's e-reading software for the last 12 years. The Microsoft Reader software is to be discontinued in August.
Revenue generated from sales through the Nook e-store will be shared -- as will sales through other Microsoft products or services -- but any purchased using a browser will not.
Microsoft and Barnes & Noble have a target launch date for the Nook Metro app in mind, but it was struck from the agreement.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
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