Toshiba has entered the e-reader market with the launch of an application and online store known as Book Place, aimed at bringing e-books to laptops, tablets and smartphones, and challenging the likes of Amazon's Kindle and Sony's Reader.
Available in the US for now, the e-reader app can be downloaded free on Windows-based devices, giving access to a million public domain titles and thousands for purchase.
Notable features include a read-aloud option that turns an e-book into an audio book, an integrated search allowing readers to click through to the web, and a synchronised word-highlighting feature that can let children follow sentences while they read, the firm said.
Book Place also enables publishers to embed extra features including video, author commentary and background music into the e-book, while readers can insert notes in the margins and hyperlink text if they wish, Toshiba added.
Toshiba will also allow people to synchronise Book Place with up to five multimedia devices in an effort to attract customers to the platform.
However, while this is a welcome move, Book Place could struggle against dedicated e-readers such as the Kindle and the Sony Reader.
These devices are proving extremely popular, partly because they have been designed to prevent eye strain when reading for long periods of time, and can last for weeks on a single charge. This is something that laptops, tablets and smartphones cannot emulate.
As part of the launch, Toshiba is offering registered users four free pre-selected e-books, with a claimed retail value of $80 (£50), until 12 October.
Toshiba declined to say when the service will be made available in the UK.
Use the same password for every website? It might be time to change them all
Applicants for parking bay suspensions put at risk of credit card fraud by Islington Council
Robert Swan appointed interim CEO after Brian Krzanich's departure
Should you link your data sets to add value, or leave them separate to reduce risk?