Microsoft joins Barnes & Noble in new Nook venture
Yesterday, in a somewhat surprising announcement, Microsoft and Barnes & Noble agreed to a deal that resolved their ongoing patent dispute, spun off the bookstore’s Nook business as a subsidiary into which Microsoft invested $300 million, and ensured that a Nook app will be available for Windows 8 when it launches later this year.
Although rumors have been floating around for months that Barnes & Noble was planning to spin of the Nook as a separate company or subsidiary, Microsoft’s involvement came as a surprise – one that raises interesting questions about what the two companies have in mind for their new joint business.
Do you know anyone that owns an Android tablet? I sure as heck don’t, but they have to exist out there in the wild just like the rare and fabled Sumatran white rhinoceros, which native legend has supposedly living deep in the Indian rain forests. Which is rarer? But I digress. My point is that right now, Apple’s iPad is pretty much the only tablet you’ll see other people using because Apple is beating the pulp out of Android tablets with their massive sales numbers, and Apple maintains the momentum from the launch of the new iPad nothing will stop them.
The iPad 3 is about to drop any day day now, and to make room on their shelves for Apple’s next great tablet Best Buy is slashing prices on the iPad 2. Customers can now buy the iPad 2 with Wi-Fi – 16GB for $449.99, with free shipping anywhere in the USA. Rumors have been running rampant the last few weeks regarding the impending release of the iPad 3, so it looks like Best Buy is trying to get rid of their old units as quickly as possible. But with the iPad 3 so close on the horizon, will $50 off be enough to lure in customers?
Remember the infamous Steve Jobs put-down of 7-inch tablet screens, telling reporters buyers would need to file down their fingertips in order to use the darn thing? Although we don’t see tinier fingers becoming the in-style for Christmas, suppliers are pumping out more 7-inch screens for the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet and fewer 9.7-inch displays for the iPad 2.
The folks at Canlys this morning are doing what analysts are fond of: playing the ‘if’ game. If iPads were included in the same category as computers, Apple might soon overtake HP as the world’s largest PC maker — particularly if the Cupertino, Calif. company launches the iPad 3, anticipated by many to be a 2012 release. Canalys, which does count tablets as PCs, expects Apple to pass HP before mid-2012.
The Kindle Fire may be shaping up to be the first real device to challenge the iPad’s share of the tablet market but it’s not going to go unchallenged: book retailing giant Barnes & Noble have just announced the next generation of their own Android-based reading tablet, and unlike the Kindle Fire, its specs match and even exceed the iPad 2’s for half the price.
Just a few days after rumors started springing up that Apple intended on buying streaming video service (and Netflix competitor) Hulu comes an even odder rumors, courtesy of BGR: Apple is in talks to buy Barnes & Noble out from under them. What?
It’s no iPad, that’s for sure, but Barnes & Noble has just taken a big new step towards making e-readers even more accessible to the populace at large: they’ve added a touchscreen to their latest Nook,