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Amazon set to sell software

Videos first stage in plan to sell "almost anything" online

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Amazon.com, the leading online bookseller, has declined to confirm reports that it is to sell software over the web. Such a move has been eagerly anticipated by investors and analysts in light of remarks made by Amazon.com's chairman, Jeff Bezos, who said he wanted the company's Web site to be the place where shoppers can buy "almost anything" online. Already established as an online bookstore and music shop, Amazon.com has confirmed that it will beginning marketing videos soon, although it has not said exactly when. Any movement into software, one of the most popular purchases on the Web, would come as no surprise, analysts and online software vendors have said. "The concept of Amazon selling software is well anticipated and a natural extension," said Steve Jurvetson, of venture capitalists Draper Fisher Jurvetson. "Software is a good high-margin business on the Web," he added. According to market research agency Jupiter Communications, online software sales in the US are expected to rocket to $2.4 billion by 2002 from $258.9 million this year. Meanwhile, Jonathan Bulkeley, formerly head of AOL UK, has been appointed CEO of Amazon arch-rival barnesandnoble.com, the online branch of US bookseller Barnes and Noble. "What Barnes & Noble has done in store we need to do online," said Bulkeley. "Obviously, we're not the largest online bookseller... but I'd like to be the best," he said. ® Click for more stories Click for story index

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