Microsoft will today announce the launch of its new electronic book software for PCs running on Windows with representatives from the publishing industry Tuesday in New York.

The PC version of the Microsoft Reader application incorporates technology that allows small fonts to be read more clearly.

Time Warner’s Time Warner Trade Publishing, as well as and Simon & Schuster have partnered with Microsoft to produce e-books for the software.

Time Warner intends to publish hundreds of e-books through its iPublish division next year.

Simon and Schuster's experimentation with e-books includes the online release of Stephen King's "Riding the Bullet" at £1.65 a download.

King's latest book, "The Plant," is available as a serial novel online at 65p per chapter paid on the honour system.