Monday, July 12, 2010

Barnes & Noble gets into the higher ed eBook business with NOOKstudy

According to Engadget, Barnes & Noble announced NOOKstudy, a software eBook reader and content manager for the higher education market, earlier today. NOOKStudy is a free eBook application for Windows and OSX PCs targeted at the higher education market that enables students to manage all their digital content (eTextbooks, class materials and notes) on their computers: From the press release:
"NOOKstudy lets students view multiple books and sources at once and offers access to complementary content (e.g. toolsets, reference materials, etc.), as well as the unprecedented ability to highlight and take notes that are searchable and customizable. This comprehensive software solution also provides students access to all of their materials – eTextbooks, lecture notes, syllabi, slides, images, trade books and other course-related documents – all in one place, so their digital library goes wherever they go."

"NOOKstudy will be compatible with the company's entire catalog of eBooks and digital content, including relevant study aids, test prep guides, periodicals, and hundreds of thousands of trade and professional titles. NOOKstudy will also enable students to save money, as eTextbooks offer up to 40% savings off new textbooks."
NOOKstudy is in beta test at a number of universities including Penn State and UNLV, and will go into general distribution for the 2010 fall semester. It's a direct response to Follett's CafeScribe/MyScribe eBook service, which Follett has bungled since it acquired Fourteen40, the company that developed it. It's also a preemptive strike against the Kno eBook reader and service. Kno will make students purchase its proprietary eBook reader (for "under $1,000",) while NOOKstudy will work on the PCs that students already have. While B&N will undoubtedly focus on the schools where it has bookstore contracts, B&N will use NOOKstudy to go after students across the country.

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