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Amazon launches online software store

The online retailer, seeking to turn a profit by year's end, launches a new online store allowing customers to buy software and download it to their PCs., seeking to turn a profit by year's end, on Monday launched a new online store allowing customers to buy software and download it to their PCs.'s Software Downloads Store offers software titles in the tax, multimedia and antivirus areas, including Quicken and Turbotax from Symantec, Norton AntiVirus 2001, and DreamWeaver and Flash Macromedia, the company said.

Customers who purchase selected software titles will receive emails with Web links, or URLs, that will enable them to download the programs.

The Web store debut comes as the company tries to streamline its business in order to turn a profit. Last month, the Seattle-based company announced a 15 percent staff cut in response to continuing warnings by financial analysts that the company has to make a better effort at cutting costs.

Last week, employees staged a walkout to protest the recent layoffs and demanded the company scratch certain conditions for receiving a full severance package.

Despite recent turmoil surrounding its current financial situation, the company continues to tweak its business strategy. Last week, the company announced plans to unveil a new payment system that would allow Amazon shoppers to donate to their favorite Web sites.

The Software Download Store will follow the lead of other Web offerings from Amazon, offering title search capabilities, personalization features and customer reviews.

Amazon has teamed with Ingram Micro, a wholesale provider of technology products and services, and Preview Systems, a digital goods e-commerce company, to build the store and provide a network for customers to buy and download software from the site.