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A Barnes & Noble bookstore is seen on April 30, 2012 in... News PhotoBarnes & Noble,Bookstore,Finance,Horizontal,USA,Washington DCPhotographer Collection: AFP 2012 AFPA Barnes & Noble bookstore is seen on April 30, 2012 in Washington,DC. Microsoft teamed up Monday with US bookselling giant Barnes & Noble in a venture aimed at grabbing a bigger share of the rapidly growing market for electronic books. The world's biggest software group will make a $300 million investment in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary focusing on the bookseller's digital reading capabilities, including its Nook tablet, and its college businesses. The move appears to end a long patent dispute between the two firms and brings them together to battle Amazon's popular Kindle tablet and ebook reader, as well as the surging Apple iPad. AFP PHOTO/KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages)