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Nook app for Windows 8 PCs and tablets now available in Windows Store

The Barnes & Noble Nook app is now available for Windows 8 PC and tablet owners.

Microsoft announced that the free app hit the Windows Store this week, allowing customers to explore a selection of more than three million books, magazines, newspapers, and comics.

Featuring the Nook's new "paper" user interface and the ability to use Windows' live tiles to keep track of reading material, get alerts for new arrivals, and pin favourites to the Start screen, the app gives PC and tablet users one more way to avoid reading physical books.

Additionally, the new Nook Channels recommendation system combines the knowledge of in-person Barnes & Noble clerks with algorithmic technology to create a curated discovery feature, meant to target each individual's interests and sensibilities. Users of the app can also skim one of the already-built Channels to expand their reading horizons, perhaps exploring texts in the Paranormal Romance, Jane Austen & Heirs, or History by Plot categories.

The new app marks the first digital product launch under the recently announced partnership between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft.

"Our intent was to create a great digital reading and content buying experience for millions of users on Windows 8. And by working closely with Microsoft on the app we've accomplished that," Jamie Iannone, president of Nook digital products, said in a statement.

Users of the app will have access to what B&N called "the largest digital collection of the top 100 bestselling magazines," as well as a growing selection of full-colour comics, graphic novels, and kids' comics. Books can be sampled for free, and downloaded instantly without leaving the Windows 8 Nook app.

Current Nook owners will likely feel little change moving between the eBook reader version of the app and the version optimised for PCs and tablets. Both flavours sport similar tools, including the ability to change font style and size, quickly navigate to different pages, and add bookmarks.

Nook for Windows 8 also allows online browsing, with details and reviews about each title readily available, and the option to simply tap to purchase, all within the app.

Nook for Windows 8 is now available for free download in the Windows Store on all Windows 8 PCs and tablets.