Kinokuniya and Microsoft Announce Alliance To Bring Microsoft Reader EBooks to Japan

TOKYO and REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 31, 2000 — Kinokuniya Company Ltd. and Microsoft Corp. today announced a strategic alliance to offer eBooks in Microsoft® Reader format to Japanese consumers.

Under the alliance, Kinokuniya – Japan’s leading bookseller – will open an eBook store in early 2001 to offer English-language titles in the Microsoft Reader format. This advancement in electronic book distribution is facilitated by Digital Asset Server (DAS), Microsoft’s state-of-the-art technology that enables secure distribution of eBooks in Microsoft Reader format. The companies also announced that Japanese-language eBooks will be available mid-2001, and Chinese-language eBooks also are forthcoming. The alliance marks Kinokuniya’s first foray into eBooks as well as Microsoft’s entry into the Japanese eBook marketplace.

“This collaboration is yet another example of the growing momentum eBooks are generating around the world,”
said Dick Brass, vice president of technology development at Microsoft.
“It’s only fitting that Japan, a nation that has long been a global leader in technological innovation, would be one of the first to embrace eBooks, a technology with profound worldwide implications for how people read and purchase books. We are delighted to be working with one of Japan’s great companies, Kinokuniya, to make it happen.”

“We are pleased to take this opportunity with Microsoft to offer a Japanese solution for online content distribution,”
said Shokichi Takai, vice president of Kinokuniya. We operate 60 retail stores domestically and an online store that is rated one of the best in Japan. With the assistance of Microsoft, a leading technology company, we are expanding our established business and stepping into the next bookselling era, which we are certain will be responsive to the demands of 21st-century readers.

With Kinokuniya’s stature as Japan’s leading bookstore and Microsoft’s state-of-the art eBook technology, publishers will be able to secure premium eBook titles for distribution to the Japanese market. Consumers will be able to enjoy a reading experience that for the first time approaches the quality of reading print on paper, with the added advantages of the digital realm.

About Kinokuniya Company Ltd.

Founded in 1927, Kinokuniya is the leading bookstore chain in Japan (60 domestic stores and 26 overseas). To attain a high level of customer satisfaction, the company has been opening large-scale bookstores, selling publications over the Internet, and building up a peerless network of sales offices serving educational and research institutions all over Japan and the world.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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