US bookstore giant Barnes & Noble added Web surfing and games to its electronic reader Friday as rivals move to break the momentum of Apple's freshly launched iPad tablet computer.
Barnes & Noble updated its Nook devices with features that included letting users browse complete works instead of just getting summaries of the content of digital books they are considering buying.
The Nook software update includes "new games and many other entertaining features to continue to deliver on our promise to make Nook the most fun, easy-to-use e-book reader," said Tony Astarita, vice president of digital products at the bookseller's website.
Amazon will make its Kindle electronic book reader available at US retail giant Target later this year in a deal that marks the first time the device will be available anywhere other than the Amazon.com website.
The basic Kindle sells for 259 dollars, the same price as a Nook.
The moves come nearly three weeks after the US launch of the iPad, a multi-purpose table computer that lists rich electronic book reading as just one of its features.
Apple reports it has sold more than 500,000 iPads, with the cheapest model priced at 499 dollars.
Indications are that Amazon is hard at work on a next-generation Kindle to battle the iPad, according to analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley.
"Apple has set the bar pretty high for this kind of device and if these guys are going to compete, they have to close the performance gap," Enderle said.
"If the rumors I'm hearing are right, the Amazon guys are going to do something amazing. You are going to see a pretty radical refresh in time for Christmas."
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