US book seller Barnes & Noble has announced the launch of its eBookstore, which it claims to be the world's largest.
Furthermore, eBooks bought from the store can be viewed on a number of platforms, including PCs, Macs, iPhones, BlackBerrys and the forthcoming Plastic Logic eReader. The incumbent giant of the eBook market - Amazon - requires people to purchase its own Kindle reader to access eBooks bought from it.
Barnes & Noble is claiming access to over 700,000 titles plus the Google Books collection of 500,000 out of copyright books, which are not readable on the Kindle device. It offers a free download of its eReader for a number of devices and will chuck in six free eBooks when you first sign up for a BN.com account.
"Today marks the first phase of our digital strategy, which is rooted in the belief that readers should have access to the books in their digital library from any device, from anywhere, at any time," said William J. Lynch, president of BN.com.
While Amazon has a significant head-start and is the dominant force in online book-selling, the fact that the Barnes & Noble offering is compatible with a larger number of devices could give it a clear advantage.