Barnes & Noble ‘Nook’ ebook runs Android

Last week we reported on the imminent debut of a ‘Kindle killer’ ebook reader from Barnes & Noble and the overnight launch revealed some more details.

Most noteworthy for the geek set is that the device which B&N has tagged as the Nook runs Android.

This is a significant win for Google in its efforts to push Android beyond the smartphone space and is certain to focus broader attention on the open-source OS.

We don’t have any more information on how B&N have customised Android but we’re certain some details will bubble up to the surface in the coming days.

In several areas the Nook also manages to one-up the Kindle 2 which starts shipping to Australian readers this week.

While it has the same US$259 price tag as the Kindle 2 the Nook supplements its 3G connectivity with Wi-Fi and also sports a Micro SD memory card slot to boost the 2GB flash memory capacity.

The Nook also allows ebooks to be ‘lent’ to friends for 14 days at no cost. Barnes & Noble says that an ebook purchased for the Nook can be sent for free to a friend’s Nook or other devices supporting the  Nook reader software – including the iPhone iPod Touch and some BlackBerry devices.