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Barnes & Noble reportedly retires PC and Mac Nook apps on the quiet

Barnes & Noble has reportedly ditched its Nook apps for PC and Mac in favour of web-based reading on the computer.

According to The Digital Reader and theeBookReader.com, B&N removed the apps from its website about a month ago, and is directing PC users to access Nook e-books via the new Windows 8 app or through Nook for Web.

Barnes & Noble did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but confirmed the news to The Digital Reader, which noted that B&N last updated its PC app in November 2011 and the Mac version in March 2012.

Still, customers noticed the change, with some asking on the Nook Apps forum "What happened to the Nook for Mac and Nook for PC apps?"

"[In my opinion] this is all a bit strange," user keriflur wrote in another forum on Thursday, adding that they haven't been able to read newly downloaded books on the Nook for Web feature.

"For me, this is a good reason to buy books from Google Play, as their web app actually lets me read everything I buy, they have apps for all my devices, and I can sideload to my [Nook Simple Touch]," keriflur said. "Right now, I can't read my B&N books on my work laptop or my Mac, so why should I buy more?"

The only option for many users, it seems, is to download NookStudy — another B&N reading app for OS X and Windows. The service launched in August 2010, and allows university students to access class materials on their computer.

Despite its obvious academic association, many people are turning to the app in lieu of designated PC and Mac options.