This isn't an April Fools joke is it? I'm curious as to what Barnes & Noble brings. Maybe B&N will become the distribution site? Hopefully it replaces the Sony store, so Sony can get out of the delivery business. Perhaps an in-store Kiosk as well? That'd be kind of neat.
"we want users to not have to worry about whether they'll be able to read their books again later down the road. " So let the speculation begin.
It sounds to me like they'll keep some kind of online database of your purchases so you can always retrieve them later. Which is what the Kindle store does, yes? I'm only speculating but I can't think of any other way to achieve what they say. Unless perhaps the books are delivered 'watermarked' like the iTunes songs -- unencrypted but the identity of the purchaser is embedded in the file. Personally, that is something I could live with. In ePub format I think an idea like that would go a long way to squashing Kindle.