Microsoft has fully embraced the Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet

Yesterday (Monday), Microsoft teamed up bookselling giant Barnes & Noble in a joint venture.

This is squarely aimed at grabbing a bigger share of the rapidly growing market for electronic books.

Microsoft will make a $300 million investment in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary focusing on the bookseller’s Nook tablet, and its college businesses.

This also puts to bed a long patent dispute between the two firms and brings them together to battle the iPad and Amazon’s popular Kindle tablet and ebook reader.

Microsoft will also feature the Nook digital application as an app in their Windows 8 operating system.

This “will extend the reach of Barnes & Noble’s digital bookstore by providing one of the world’s largest digital catalogues of e-books, magazines and newspapers to hundreds of millions of Windows customers in the US and internationally,” a joint statement said.

The alliance appeared to offer benefits for both firms: Microsoft gets an entry into the tablet computer segment dominated by Apple and devices powered by Google’s Android operating system, while B&N gets a much needed cash injection.

There is some speculation (unconfirmed) that the Nook may be primed to use Windows 8 as an OS in the future.

Stay tuned…