After investing $300 million last year, Microsoft is now planning to have a Nook Media buy-out which may lead them to spend a staggering $1 billion for its digital assets and college stores as well. Since it is part of Barnes & Noble, the acquisition would also include the Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablets, e-books, and e-readers.
Reports are saying that Barnes & Noble plans to finally put an end to its Android-based Nook tablet devices at least towards the end of its fiscal year 2014. It seems like the company wants to focus on enabling those contents produced by Nook to be accessible by users through apps found on third-party partner devices. One could just speculate well enough what they mean by such devices. Perhaps it would point towards Windows 8 devices, other tablets, or maybe even both. There’s no mention about the company’s plans on its Nook e-readers.
When news about the acquisition plans of Microsoft was leaked, it had actually caused an increase in Barnes & Noble shares by up to 22 percent.
If Microsoft’s plans would push through, it would be able to work closely with a partner that is very much qualified to provide more entertainment material for its devices. Microsoft is on the lookout for a reputable content partner company for them to be able to create content opportunities which would be a leap from the movies and music provided by the Xbox Live. Moreover, it could be a start of a new venture in the e-textbooks market which is believed to be a thriving industry.
Currently, Microsoft has control over Nook Media by 16.8 percent. However, evidence of this partnership is only seen when the Nook eReader app was launched for Windows 8 during the fall of 2012.
We know very well that Barnes & Noble’s arch rival in the eReader business is Amazon. Now that Microsoft is buying out Nook Media, it will surely be a sad end to the finish line for Barnes & Noble. On the other hand, it could also be the unseen destiny of the Nook e-reader as it’s now suffering from a natural decline since customers have been switching from e-readers to tablets.