In the wake of the termination of the International eBook Awards, Microsoft has announced the launch of a new organization and set of awards that focus on the critical technical issues needed to accelerate the acceptance of e-books by consumers.

The new organization will be called the International e-Book Association, said Dick Brass, v-p of technology development at Microsoft. Brass said the focus of the new organization will be on "policy and industry progress, not prizes per se.... We believe creating an ongoing force aimed at eliminating barriers to acceptance will help the industry move forward faster." The IeBA will be based in Europe and will concentrate on technology, taxation, regulatory issues and ergonomic requirements for e-books.