There’s something I like about coming in to work and finding some fresh, juicy tech news to think about.
Today’s announcement that Microsoft would take a 17% stake in Barnes & Noble’s Nook line is just the type of story I love to find on my desk on a Monday morning. First, I was struck by a technology company (MSFT) buying into a paper company’s technology business. With so many assets and the power to change markets, one wonders why Microsoft didn’t just launch their own line of eReaders or buy Nook outright. The news of B&N’s trouble with Nook in January makes me wonder if that was ever floated.
Second, and more profoundly, what does this mean for existing Windows 8 OEMs? Microsoft has essentially launched a pseudo house brand line of (likely) low priced tablets and eReaders.
This is all pretty good news for Barnes & Noble (their stock price reflected as much this morning). They get the financial support needed to scale the Nook business, a bit of extra name recognition that helps differentiate them from Kindle, and the new OS everybody is talking about. We’ll see how this pans out.
Oh, and as GigaOm points out, some back of the envelope calculations show the Nook business is worth more than Barnes & Noble itself.
Photo via Slashgear