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Microsoft and Barnes & Noble Scaling Back E-Reading Plans

Illustration for article titled Microsoft and Barnes  Noble Scaling Back E-Reading Plans

Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have agreed to scale back their digital-reading partnership, which means that the bookseller will no longer develop its Nook e-reading app for Microsoft software.


After Microsoft ponied up hundreds of millions to keep Nook going, a range of Microsoft products using Barnes & Noble technology have long been expected. But according to the Wall Street Journal, Barnes & Noble will "stop work on apps for Windows 8 computers, phones and tablets, and support a possible Microsoft-created digital-reading service or app" instead.


It's perhaps no big surprise. Barnes & Noble recently laid off its Nook hardware engineering team in a drastic effort to make itself profitable; Microsoft's consumer-device strategy is increasingly focused on tablets and smartphones, not e-readers. The result is an abandonment of what would have always been a neat, rather than vital, project. Now, Nook will keep the cash that was ring fenced to develop Microsoft products—hell, it seems to need it—and continue to supply digital content for Microsoft. [WSJ]

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Its no surprise. For all the people who scream that they love their kindles and nooks and other readers, and how loudly they shout that sink is superior to a color lcd screen, the numbers tell a different story. People love iPads. Its fantastic that you can read out in the sun, but an iPad owner can suffer through the reflection and then play games, watch movies, send emails, and do the thousands upon thousands of things that a kindle or nook can't. And thats why the iPad is the most successful tablet in the world.

Not that I didn't say the same thing years ago when the iPad was announced, mind you. Because I did. Just like I told my friends who said they didn't want an iPad and bought readers instead, and then wound up throwing them away and getting iPads a year or two later, like everyone else in the world.