Barnes & Noble to offer free Wi-Fi, launches e-book store

According to Macworld, Barnes and Noble will offer free Wi-Fi via AT&T, which was previously a subscription service when it was launched in 2005. As part of the Wi-Fi offering, Barnes & Noble customers can opt-in to receive coupons to the in-store cafe, notices on author book signings and other messages when the customer logs in to the Wi-Fi service.

In addition, Barnes & Noble has recently launched an e-book store and plans to produce an e-book device in order to compete with Amazon's Kindle. It's currently offering 700,000 titles, which also includes Google's 500,000 free public domain books as part of that number.

The Barnes & Noble e-book store will offer new releases and bestsellers at $9.99. Barnes says it expects its selection to increase to over one million titles over the course of the next year, including e-books from established publishers, independent direct-to-e-book publishers, and Google. When asked about how quickly the e-book store will grow, William J. Lynch, President of BN.com, said, "We're committed to offering Barnes & Noble consumers every title available in digital format."

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I´ve never been to a Barnes & Noble store, but this looks like an interesting business shift in an attempt to stay competitive against Amazon. Transform the brick and mortar stores into some sort of erudite version of Starbucks and strenghten the online store. The french Fnac chain does something similar, stores usually include some sort of coffee shop.

This was in an article I read in PC Mag by Michael Muchmore (7/22/2009) On B & N's new e-book reader, and the new proposed e-book store.

"A more direct Kindle competitor for reading Barnes & Noble titles, the Plastic Logic eReader, is also in the works,"

So this is a public service announcement that all tables and chairs at B&N will be permanently occupied by non-customers who just want a place to chill with their laptops for three or four hours.

Oh, that's unfair of me. Okay, they might buy ONE $3 cup of coffee.

"In addition, Barnes & Noble has recently launched an e-book store and plans to produce an e-book device in order to compete with Amazon's Kindle."

...this is very misleading. b&n's 'free e-reader' is just an application you add to an iphone, blackberry, pc, or mac... the amazon kindle is its own device, not a application or plugin. this is not going to "compete" with the kindle at all. there have already been book downloading programs available for some time now.

. . .did you read what you put in quotes. They plan to produce an e-book device in order to compete with Amazon. Thus, it should probably be taken as they are going to have a Kindle or Sony Reader manufactured that will compete with the Kindle and Sony Reader. It said nothing about a phone, etc.

If They do produce a device like the Kindle and Sony Reader that would be nice because we could see a price reduction (competition always helps to lower prices)

And, hopefully the e-book store will offer the books in different formats: PDF, Microsoft Lit, etc. along with MP3 versions of audiobooks at lower prices.

Finally.

I think more places should start doing it. I mean seriously, basic high-speed internet costs less than $30/month. A few coffees can pay for that.

Residential rates are that low, but commercial rates usually are much higher. Businesses aren't allowed to use residential grade connections in most cases due to the terms of service. Most providers won't even hook up a residential grade connection at a business.

Yeah, I wanted to get internet for my church, and the same company that charges residents $15 charges businesses around $99. Since it would only be used one day a week, it wasn't worth it.