Switched On: Competing by hook or by Nook
Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On , a column about consumer technology. Microsoft has a long history of supporting bitter rivals — even those that have long publicly disparaged the company, offering funds to Nokia, Corel and, most famously, Apple. It also has a long history of supporting e-reading . Prior to ending development last year, the company offered its Microsoft Reader software for about a decade — first on handheld devices using Windows CE and Windows Mobile and later on desktop Windows. Those two traditions intersected yesterday as Microsoft invested in a new Nook e-book business designed to compete better against Apple and especially Amazon.com.