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Barnes & Noble launches cloud-based reading platform Nook for Web

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About a year after Amazon (s AMZN) launched Kindle Cloud Reader, Barnes & Noble (s BKS) is finally getting into the cloud-based reading game, with Nook for Web.

The new platform is limited to PCs and Macs for now and doesn’t work on iPad (s AAPL).

B&N is promoting Nook for Web with six free books: Map of Bones by James Rollins, Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell, The Vow by Kim Carpenter, The Boxcar Children Summer Special by Gertrude Chandler Warner, Brave by Tennant Redbank and Perfect Island Getaways by Patricia Schultz.

The books are free for download from any computer browser through July 26. Users are supposed to be able to sample books for free from any PC or Mac browser without logging in — although, after I had had Nook for Web open on my browser for about 10 minutes, I got an error message saying my session had expired and prompting me to sign in. (Blogger Mike Cane had the same problem.)

Barnes & Noble is late to Web-based reading. Kobo launched Kobo Instant Reader in beta this spring. Like Kindle Cloud Reader, it works on the iPad. Nook for Web will not be available for tablets and smartphones until this fall.