Microsoft Invests $300 Million in Nook to Take on Amazon and Apple in E-Book Market

nookMicrosoft and Barnes & Noble today announced the formation of a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary focused around the existing Nook digital e-reader and e-book business, as well as Barnes & Noble's college business. Microsoft will make a $300 million investment in the subsidiary, which is preliminarily being called Newco until an official name is chosen, and receive 17.6% ownership of the business.

One of the first benefits for customers will be a NOOK application for Windows 8, which will extend the reach of Barnes & Noble’s digital bookstore by providing one of the world’s largest digital catalogues of e-Books, magazines and newspapers to hundreds of millions of Windows customers in the U.S. and internationally.

The inclusion of Barnes & Noble’s College business is an important component of Newco’s strategic vision. Through the newly formed Newco, Barnes & Noble’s industry leading NOOK Study software will provide students and educators the preeminent technology platform for the distribution and management of digital education materials in the market.

As part of the deal, Microsoft and Barnes & Noble have also settled their patent dispute, which saw Microsoft suing for infringement by the Nook reader in a move Barnes & Noble had positioned as an attack on all Android-based systems. The new deal will see Barnes & Noble and Newco holding a royalty-bearing license on the Microsoft patents in question.

The Microsoft/Barnes & Noble venture seeks to increase competition in the e-book market, taking on both Amazon's dominant position and Apple's upstart status that has seen the iPad become a popular e-reading option for consumers but much lower adoption of iBookstore content. Barnes & Noble has had some success with Nook, but its momentum has slowed recently and recent antitrust suits against Apple and book publishers breaking down the new agency model for e-book distribution have raised concerns that the industry will quickly return to a near-monopoly for Amazon.

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Top Rated Comments

Mazeman Avatar
158 months ago
Always two steps behind.

Are they going to rename it the "Zook"?
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KnightWRX Avatar
158 months ago
"let's use our money to buy into the market that apple is getting into instead of being innovative and building it from the ground up!". This is why I hate Microsoft. Lol

So...

NeXT -> Mac OS X, iOS
Astarte-DVD -> iDVD
SoundJam -> iTunes
NothingReal -> Shake, Final Cut
P.A. Semi -> A4, A5, A5X SoCs
Siri -> Siri

The list is of course longer : List of mergers and acquisitions by Apple (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Apple)

Even Apple "doesn't build it from the ground up!", do you hate them ?
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Exhale Avatar
158 months ago
Instead of innovating, just throw your money at somebody else's product. That's what Microsoft is good at.

Apple innovates, the others copy.
I would not exactly say Apple (or anyone really) has been "innovative" when it comes to eBooks.

Nor is simply creating a new store of their own "innovative".
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mad Mac Maniac Avatar
158 months ago
Increased competition is a good thing. A two horse race is good for nobody. (See: American Politics)

I think 3 roughly equal competitors is the best combination to increase competiton while still able to have the companies maximize profits. That's why I would like to see Windows Phone do well. I'm sick of the iOS vs Android and WP7 is actually a pretty good OS which ISN'T just a blatant rip off of iOS....
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chilly willy Avatar
158 months ago
Hope Apple is not as smug as many here are. Pride goeth before the fall as they say...

MS has $$$$ and can make some noise in this market if aligned with B&n. Good competition to keep Apple, Amazon and others on their toes.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
striker33 Avatar
158 months ago
I love how people still compare a tablet to an e-reader.

Misinformed journalism at its best.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)