This strikes me as not a foolish idea. There’s room for more players in that market, and B&N’s general failure to challenge Amazon convincingly online has been a huge fail. This gives them another shot at becoming meaningful in that market. Plus, Plastic Logic’s e-reader is funky and has nice tech in it.
My first reaction was, oh, B&N is going to distance themselves from Amazon by playing the good guy: use an open format, and cut a sweet deal with publishers that will woo them away from Amazon. But I haven’t heard anything about what kinds of files this thing will display. And apparently B&N will be selling books for $9.99, just like Amazon. But Amazon hasn’t managed to come to an agreement with publishers on a way to make that work as a model. So I wonder why B&N think they can.