Microsoft announced that it is investing $300 million into a strategic partnership with Barnes & Noble to develop the future of e-reading.

The deal includes some patents, which could account for the price. What's more convincing, however, is the fact that the cash injection will see a Windows 8 Nook application become available.

Nook, it seems, is Microsoft's answer to iBooks, and gives Windows 8 users an alternative to Kindle.

[Microsoft, Barnes & Noble]