Continuing its bold, brave and surprisingly successful e-Reader battle with Amazon, Barnes & Noble is soon to launch its fifth Nook device.
Over the weekend, the New York Times ran a long feature piece on the book seller. Tucked away, two-thirds of the way through, was a tantalizing nod toward the company's future tech:
"At its labs in Silicon Valley last week, engineers were putting final touches on their fifth e-reading device, a product that executives said would be released sometime this spring."
Sadly, that's all we've got to go on. No word on whether it's dirt-cheap, some type of iPad contender, or something else entirely. We'll just have to wait and see what reliable tid-bits work their way out of the rumor mill.
According to the New York Times, Barnes & Noble now hold a respectable 27 per cent of the ebook market, compared to at least 60 percent for Amazon. Considering B&N were a little late to the game, that's an impressive achievement.
The fact that B&N are reinvesting so heavily is a sign they believe in the medium. Before long, we might even know them better for tech than tomes.
Elsewhere, the New York Times painted a wonderful picture of the offices in which the Nook is developed, a kind of literary version of Silicon Valley tech giants:
In one room, a virtual wallpaper of Nook color devices hangs in rows neat as a checkerboard. A common area holds a foosball table and a cooler of VitaminWater. Some of the walls are made of silver-colored mesh. Some of the cubicles are lime green.
But there are also reminders of the old Barnes & Noble. Over here is a basket of actual books, including "Travels With Charley" and "The Little Prince." Over there on a wall are enormous vintage covers of books like "Of Mice and Men" and "The Great Gatsby."
If I didn't work from home, I'd want to work in an office like that. [New York Times]