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Boom Time For On-Line Books?

by Adam Keller

AUTHOR STEPHEN KING’S recent foray into e-book publishing has kicked
off a new round of activity among book publishers and software
developers looking to gain a foothold in the nascent market.
Since last year, well-known book publishers such as Houghton
Mifflin Co., The McGraw-Hill Cos. and Simon & Schuster Inc.
have hooked up with software companies to convert books into
digital format and enable them to be read on screen.

Now Adobe Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are duking it out in
the market for e-book reading software. In November at the
Seybold Seminars conference in New York City, Adobe announced
that it has acquired Glassbook Inc., a provider of e-book
software that last week announced a beta version of its Reader
2.0 software. Terms of the deal were not released.

Features of Reader 2.0, include two-page views, text-to-speech capabilities,
screen rotation, text annotation and highlighting with electronic
sticky notes, searching and text enhancement to make content
easier to read, said officials from Glassbook, of Waltham,
Mass.

Adobe, of San Jose, Calif., also announced an expanded partnership
with digital content services company iUniverse.com to offer
authors and publishers a faster and less expensive way to
publish, manage

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