Microsoft has teamed up with Barnes & Noble with a $300 million investment that will create a new subsidiary focused on accelerating “the transition to e-reading.” Microsoft will take a 17.6% equity stake in a subsidiary, which is yet to be named, while Barnes & Noble will own the remaining 82.4%.
The move will provide Microsoft with its own answer to iBooks, with plans for a NOOK application that will run on Windows 8, and it’ll give users an alternative to the Kindle Store.
The huge $300 million investment will include some patents, according to Gizmodo. But the biggest attraction for Microsoft will undoubtedly be that NOOK app for Windows 8.
The company’s announcement notes that e-books are “revolutionizing the way people consume, create, share and enjoy digital content,” and right now, Microsoft doesn’t have its own platform; the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Google are leading the way.
A NOOK application will provide Windows 8 users with an alternative to these stores, and it’ll provide Microsoft with its own iBooks rival. Andy Lees, President at Microsoft, said that its investment will accelerate e-reading innovation across Windows 8 devices:
The shift to digital is putting the world’s libraries and newsstands in the palm of every person’s hand, and is the beginning of a journey that will impact how people read, interact with, and enjoy new forms of content.
Our complementary assets will accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices, enabling people to not just read stories, but to be part of them. We’re at the cusp of a revolution in reading.
It will be interesting to see what else comes out of the deal, especially if you’re a Windows user..