Amazon.com has selected Microsoft Reader as the preferred format for its future US e-book website in a deal that boosts the software giant's newly launched digital book technology.
The agreement follows a similar relationship Microsoft struck with Amazon rival Barnes and Noble at the beginning of August which coincided with the launch of Reader. Amazon declined to specify when the US site will open, other than to say "soon". The company is aiming to make 2000 e-book titles available initially on its site.
Mario Juarez, marketing manager of Microsoft's emerging technologies group, said the software giant is creating a version of Reader specifically for Amazon, and that the site will launch once the two companies have ironed out specific technical issues. These include how to ensure copyright protection by preventing attempts to post the contents of a purchased e-book on the web.
"We are building the site as quickly as we can. It is not an onerous task but there is no specific target date," he said.
Lyn Blake, general manager of the Amazon Books unit, said Reader will initially be available to visitors to its US site, but that no plans have been announced to sell e-books via the company's international sites.
According to Juarez, there have already been "hundreds of thousands" of downloads of Microsoft Reader since it was made available free to visitors of its website.
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