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Microsoft launches Nook joint venture with B&N

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Offline leep
30 Apr 2012, 06:32 PM | Post: #1

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Microsoft launches Nook joint venture with B&N

Too early to tell what the deal will be, or if we'll get to see it over here, but Microsoft has just invested $300 million in a deal with Barnes and Nobel to launch a new Nook business:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17896534

"The deal could make Barnes and Noble's Nook e-book reader available to millions of new customers, integrating it with the Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system.

The as-yet unnamed new company will be 82.4% owned by Barnes and Noble, with Microsoft getting a 17.6% stake.

It will house the bookseller's digital and college education book businesses."

That's a pretty hefty chunk of change. I assume Windows 8 will get a reader app like Amazon's for a start, probably some cloud storage/sync using some of Microsoft's cloud platforms, so it could be interesting for Amazon to have another competitor, this seems to combine B&N's book business links with Microsoft's technical skills and platform.
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Offline Lou Reading Ryria Series by Michael J Sullivan
30 Apr 2012, 06:56 PM | Post: #2

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RE: Microsoft launches Nook joint venture with B&N

Hmm, assuming it would come bundled as part of the OS, I wonder what the anti-trust brigade would make of it.
Barnacle Boy! We have to find those stolen Naggy Daddies!
Offline leep
30 Apr 2012, 07:03 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Microsoft launches Nook joint venture with B&N

I imagine it'll be an uninstallable app (to try and avoid those issues), avoiding the whole IE 'it's part of the OS' argument, so no different to iBooks really, except it won't be limited to Apple hardware. Be interesting to see if they get in the App store with a version though.
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Offline frogplate Reading The Luck of Han’anga - Thomas Watson
30 Apr 2012, 09:44 PM | Post: #4

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RE: Microsoft launches Nook joint venture with B&N

This post was last modified: 30 Apr 2012 09:46 PM by frogplate.
I think this is aimed at Win RT, not Windows 8 for the PC. Win RT is the version of Windows 8 that will run on ARM tablets. Twice in the last year during Windows 8 presentations there has been a throw-away line about "tablets and ereaders" running WOA (Windows on ARM). Most commentators seem to have discounted this as not being backed by real ereader plans. However it has been known for some time that B&N needed a partner in order to survive so perhaps this was the plan all along.

I'm sure that Microsoft will bring out a PC app too, but my guess is that it will be a Metro app available from the Windows app store, not part of Windows 8.

By the way Microsoft are planning to include Windows Defender/Security Essentials with Windows 8 which could lead to Anti-Virus companies to use the IE monopoly argument, so perhaps they think they can get away with it again!

Cheers,

Jonathan
Offline frogplate Reading The Luck of Han’anga - Thomas Watson
30 Apr 2012, 11:07 PM | Post: #5

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RE: Microsoft launches Nook joint venture with B&N

Here's an article on by ZDNet which suggests that Microsoft might be looking to build a $200 Kindle Fire killer.

The text book division acquisition is interesting too - especially in the light of the various open textbooks projects starting up at the moment (including those supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation!)

Cheers,

Jonathan
Offline leep
01 May 2012, 06:26 AM | Post: #6

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RE: Microsoft launches Nook joint venture with B&N

(30 Apr 2012 09:44 PM)frogplate Wrote:  I think this is aimed at Win RT, not Windows 8 for the PC.

I agree that the primary market must be tablets (though both RT and full 8 will run on tablets, most I've heard of so far are running Intel chips not ARM yet) and will probably be Metro apps, but as they can be build in HTML5 and CSS it should be fairly easy to deploy a version to any platform. Windows Phone 7/8 will probably get something too I would think.

Microsoft seem to understand they need content to sell tablets, so maybe we'll see some tie-ins for music and films before launch too.

Microsoft are late to the party, but Android hasn't made much impact as far as I can see (though the sales reports say otherwise, I just don't see it, everyone I know who had a tablet has an iPad), so there's still time for them.
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