B&N, Microsoft To Take On Apple, Amazon

by , Apr 30, 2012, 11:43 AM
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To gain ground in the great e-reader race, Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have teamed up to take on market leaders Apple and Amazon.

Yet to be named, the partnership will “come in the form of a new subsidiary of B&N that will include all of its Nook business as well as its educational college business,” TechCrunch reports. “Microsoft is making a $300 million investment in the subsidiary, valuing the company at $1.7 billion in exchange for around 17.6%equity in the subsidiary.”

“The alliance comes after the companies openly feuded over the Nook,” writes The Wall Street Journal. “As part of the move, there will be a Nook application included in the new Windows 8, which is scheduled to have a release preview in early June.”

According to Forbes, Barnes & Noble is a company that needs saving, and Microsoft could be just the partner to do it. “Back in 1997, Microsoft invested $150 million in Apple when its back was against the wall,” Forbes recalls. “Today, Microsoft announced it would invest twice that amount in Barnes & Noble.”

“The partnership with Microsoft could give the Nook the kind of content and global expansion to make it a bigger player in the tablet business,” suggests Bloomberg, citing comments from Michael Glickstein, chief investment officer with G Asset Management LLC, a Barnes & Noble investor.

“Microsoft has been working hard to promote its platform (especially since the launch of the Windows phone earlier this year) but there has yet to be a wave of great digital content for it -- specifically e-books,” VatorNews writes.

“Amazon already offers a version of its Kindle reader app for Windows 8,” Computerworld notes. “The new e-book duo also plans to create Nook-based textbooks to compete with a similar platform from Apple announced in January as part of iBooks 2.”

“Unlike Borders, Barnes and Noble has managed to jump across book publishing’s digital divide, created by Amazon’s release of the first-generation Kindle not quite five years ago,”Wired writes. “Clearly, it’s in the digital play that any real growth exists.”


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