SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 31, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today received the support of major publishers, book vendors and eBook industry pioneers that welcomed the announcement of Microsoft® Reader for desktop and laptop computers. Microsoft Reader will enable all Microsoft Windows® 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT® operating system-based machines to read electronic titles, broadly expanding the market for online eBook content.
“eBooks are an exciting part of the future of book publishing,”
said Maureen Egen, president of Time Warner Trade Publishing.
“Microsoft is to be thanked for helping readers to enjoy the experience of reading on screen via its Microsoft Reader software.”
Microsoft has been working closely with key publishers to make sure that the availability of Microsoft Reader coincides with exciting new programs that will deliver significant eBook content to this emerging market.
“Microsoft Reader validates the electronic-book concept,”
said Steve Cohen, senior vice president of St. Martin’s Press.
“This could be the springboard that will now allow electronic-book publishing to reach millions of potential book readers, many of whom do not presently buy hardcover or paperback books in bookstores. This represents a great opportunity for our authors!”
“The Microsoft Reader is yet another example of the broad interest in the rapidly emerging electronic-book marketplace,”
said James Sachs, chairman and CEO of SoftBook Press, which sells the SoftBook eBook reading machine, as well as eBook titles.
“We feel that it will have a very positive impact on everyone involved in the industry.”
“Microsoft is to be applauded for helping enable meaningful on-screen reading,”
said Michael M. Lynton, chairman and chief executive of The Penguin Group.
“This gives publishers and authors a better opportunity to reach readers with their titles in an electronic medium.”
Delivery of electronic content to Microsoft Reader and other eBook users is critical to the success of the emerging eBook industry. By working with key retailers, Microsoft will facilitate delivery of exciting new eBook content to a broad market of laptop and desktop consumers.
“It is the dawn of the age of the eBook,”
said Steve Riggio, vice chairman of Barnes & Noble.
“The Microsoft Reader will vastly improve the readability of content on PCs and laptops and bring it to an installed base of millions of readers.”
“Reading text on screen is incredibly important,”
said Chris MacAskill, CEO and co-founder of Fatbrain.com, a Web vendor of professional texts.
“And Microsoft is doing a good job of taking it to the next level. This will help popularize the sale of new forms of electronic content.”
“The poor reading experience provided by a typical PC or notebook display has been the biggest obstacle to the widespread adoption of electronic books,”
said Dick Brass, vice president of Technology Development at Microsoft.
Microsoft Reader provides our ClearType TM font improvement and other technologies that will make on-screen reading much more comparable to reading on paper. In a short time, we hope to enable tens of millions of laptop and desktop computers to read eBooks, dramatically increasing the opportunities for publishers, authors, retailers and eBook pioneers.”
Microsoft Reader is scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 2000 and will also be available on the Web.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
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