Today Barnes & Noble announced a new Windows 8 application that will allow consumers to log in using their Microsoft Account credentials. Microsoft owns a portion of Nook, after investing $300 million into it as a separate venture from its parent company. Microsoft’s stake in Nook amounts to 17.6% of the company.

Today’s news matters as it at demonstrates that Microsoft’s Nook ambitions extend past hardware, and that the company is leveraging its Microsoft Account system across companies and products that it does not own. That Microsoft would allow its new central identity and payment hub into an application built by a third-party – if an unusually close one – is eyebrow raising.

Nook first landed on Windows 8 in November of last year.

Reading the official release, the two firms are calling the integration of Microsoft Accounts into Nook as a marriage of convenience, stating that the move will “dramatically [simplify] the reading and shopping experience.” They called the move the elimination of the need of “separate credentials” to log in or create an account. In short, you can just hop into Nook provided that you use Windows 8 in any real capacity.

The Nook-Microsoft Account is “first digital bookstore to support Microsoft account for sign in on Windows 8.”

If this will drive meaningful changes in the consumer uptake of Nook on Windows 8 or not, it does demonstrate that the Barnes & Noble-Microsoft partnership continues on, on more than paper. Chief rivals, Google, Amazon, and Apple all sport their own bookstores. Only Microsoft is currently approaching the market by way of a partnership.

Top Image Credit: *Sage* TokyoChicago