Thursday, May 9, 2013

Microsoft May Have A Plan For The Nook

Did it take Barnes & Noble creating a partnership with Google for Microsoft to finally take notice?  Despite their investment in the Nook digital book reader and tablet, little has been mentioned about their involvement.  So now comes rumor that Microsoft will buy the digital assets of the Nook business to help support its own line of tablets.  "A deal to buy the digital assets of Nook Media is the natural next step for Microsoft, which first announced a plan to work with Barnes & Noble on its Nook devices and content in April 2012, ponying up $300 million at the time to help." 

Also of interest is the future of Nook tablets.  "The documents also reveal that Nook Media plans to discontinue its Android-based tablet business by the end of its 2014 fiscal year as it transitions to a model where Nook content is distributed through apps on “third-party partner” devices."  It seems that the hardware experiment for B&N could not work, despite having a strong presence in college bookstores across the country.

What Microsoft will do with the digital assets and their own devices remain to be seen.  Nook apps are already available across other competitor products including Apple and Android tablets.  I wonder what the competitive advantage for Microsoft is unless they plan to change the relationships with these other tablet makers.