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Retail Solutions Briefs: Amazon and Microsoft, Nintendo, Printers online

Retail Solutions Briefs: Amazon and Microsoft, Nintendo, Printers online

Amazon.com selects Microsoft for e-books

Microsoft has announced online retailer Amazon.com has selected its Microsoft Reader as the "preferred format" for a future e-book store.

Microsoft Reader currently runs on Windows PCs and on the Pocket PC, with a Macintosh version on the way. It can be downloaded from www.microsoft.com/reader. Around 1000 commercial titles are available for Reader.

As part of the deal with Amazon, Microsoft said it would create a customised version of Reader that will allow customers to order books at Amazon from within Reader.

Barnesandnoble.com already offers electronic books in the Microsoft Reader format, as well as for the competing Rocket eBook from NuvoMedia.

www.amazon.com

Nintendo gets into cubism

Nintendo is jumping into the highly competitive next-generation game console market with its Gamecube that will start selling in Japan in July and the US in October 2001, the company has announced.

The electronic toy maker previewed the Gamecube, as well as its new portable Game Boy Advance at the Spaceworld trade show in Tokyo.

The new Game Boy will have a screen size 50 per cent larger than the current product - with the 32-bit reduced instruction set computer (RISC) central processor replacing the current 8-bit model. Its screen resolution will improve by 60 per cent due to a reflective TFT-LCD.

Both the 32-bit handheld Game Boy and the Gamecube will have the ability to work together as well as over the Internet. The Game Boy handheld will hit the Japanese market in March of next year. Local pricing and availability have yet to be announced.

Printers and peripherals are go for online sales

The Internet provides an ideal opportunity to sell printers and peripherals, according to a report from IDC. The analyst recently surveyed more than 600 business users and consumers, with approximately 30 per cent indicating they were likely to buy a printer online. Around 15 per cent said they would buy peripherals on the Web.

"There is a reason to feel optimistic about the opportunity to sell peripherals over the Internet," said IDC's printers and peripherals analyst, Les Champkin.

"Vendors wondering if they should use the Web as a channel and how they should do so should consider following the successes of other industries such as books and airline tickets."


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