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Barnes & Noble, Microsoft May Bring Textbooks to Win 8

By - Source: Barnes & Noble Email | B 7 comments

Microsoft and Barnes & Noble have have come to an agreement on terms to launch a subsidiary called Nook Media LLC.

Barnes & Noble and Microsoft said on Thursday that they have finally agreed to terms on a previously-announced Barnes & Noble subsidiary now called Nook Media LLC. If approved, the book retailer will control the majority share (82.4-percent) and Microsoft will get a 17.6-percent equity share in exchange for injecting $300 million into Nook Media LLC at a post-money valuation of $1.7 billion.

The new Nook subsidiary comprises the Nook Digital and College businesses, and will continue to have a very close and mutually beneficial relationship with Barnes & Noble’s retail stores. This new joint venture will allow the companies to "advance world-class digital reading experiences to the hundreds of millions of customers they jointly serve."

The first order of business, according to Andy Lees, President at Microsoft, will be to create a Nook app for Windows 8 in time for the operating system's launch. He described the subsidiary as a "leader in developing the next generation of digital reading," and is excited about the product roadmap and expansion into markets around the world.

This comment indicates that Microsoft may be looking to lean on Barnes & Noble as its primary source for ebooks, magazines, college textbooks and more (Microsoft Books, Powered by Nook?). It's the one component Microsoft doesn't currently offer, and will be a key feature once Windows 8 tablets hit the market. As Lees pointed out, Amazon's arch enemy recently had several successful launches in the UK – more will surely come.

"As demand for digital content continues to increase, we are focused on bringing ground-breaking reading and learning content and technologies to more people in more formats than ever before, including the imminent launch of our exceptional Nook reading application for Windows 8,” said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble. “We look forward to working closely with our new partner Microsoft to add value to their innovative new platform by bringing great reading experiences and one of the world’s preeminent digital bookstores to millions of Windows 8 users."

The strategic partnership to form a subsidiary was originally announced back in April. The two companies specifically stated that through Barnes & Noble's College business now included in the new subsidiary (dubbed Newco at the time), "Nook Study software will provide students and educators the preeminent technology platform for the distribution and management of digital education materials in the market."

They also said the new partnership will "accelerate the transition to e-reading, which is revolutionizing the way people consume, create, share and enjoy digital content."

“Microsoft’s investment in [Nook Media LLC], and our exciting collaboration to bring world-class digital reading technologies and content to the Windows platform and its hundreds of millions of users, will allow us to significantly expand the business," Lynch said in April.

 

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  • 1 Hide
    matt_b , October 4, 2012 8:13 PM
    I don't know how others feel about this kind of thing, but I cannot stand having a complex subject like calculus or chemistry and have the textbook in a digital format. There's something about having the tangible pages in front and being able to bounce around while working with them. School books rarely "read" like a novel does where it's linear, perhaps this in large part shapes my view on this. There's nothing "revolutionary" about this transition like the two companies here call it and make you want to believe in my opinion.
  • 4 Hide
    Azn Cracker , October 4, 2012 9:25 PM
    They better cost half as much...
  • 3 Hide
    Camikazi , October 4, 2012 10:04 PM
    matt_bI don't know how others feel about this kind of thing, but I cannot stand having a complex subject like calculus or chemistry and have the textbook in a digital format. There's something about having the tangible pages in front and being able to bounce around while working with them. School books rarely "read" like a novel does where it's linear, perhaps this in large part shapes my view on this. There's nothing "revolutionary" about this transition like the two companies here call it and make you want to believe in my opinion.

    Book wide search, instant move to page, quicker access to the index are just some of the advantages that e-books have over traditional books. Wait one more thing Less weight, can be lower priced and did I mention less weight to carry around? :p 
  • Display all 7 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 4, 2012 11:06 PM
    matt_bI don't know how others feel about this kind of thing, but I cannot stand having a complex subject like calculus or chemistry and have the textbook in a digital format. There's something about having the tangible pages in front and being able to bounce around while working with them. School books rarely "read" like a novel does where it's linear, perhaps this in large part shapes my view on this. There's nothing "revolutionary" about this transition like the two companies here call it and make you want to believe in my opinion.

    Although I agree that paper books are more "real" and have a certain "feel" to them, I also attribute some long-term pain in my shoulder to Cutnell and Johnson forcing me to carry around a 5 pound physics book amongst 3 or 4 other the same size nearly 17 years ago, at the end of it the most interesting lesson in physics I learned was that gravity really sucks and a Kindle or a Nook would have been a small price to pay (figuratively and literally) to ditch all the dead trees and be able to play ball with my kids without the aid of painkillers.
  • 1 Hide
    matt_b , October 5, 2012 4:16 AM
    Weight is a definite advantage. With the digital aspect of purchasing textbooks though, can one still earn a good amount of their money back on re-selling them now? I've seen a lot of instances lately (and maybe the monopoly B&N has on this market is to blame here), where you are buying an online code to go with the "book". So once it's used, even the physical copy of the textbook becomes almost worthless as the online access that's trumped up as necessary is one-time use. So where does this aspect stand at now?
  • 0 Hide
    thor220 , October 5, 2012 6:19 AM
    matt_bWeight is a definite advantage. With the digital aspect of purchasing textbooks though, can one still earn a good amount of their money back on re-selling them now? I've seen a lot of instances lately (and maybe the monopoly B&N has on this market is to blame here), where you are buying an online code to go with the "book". So once it's used, even the physical copy of the textbook becomes almost worthless as the online access that's trumped up as necessary is one-time use. So where does this aspect stand at now?


    And you can only use that code for one semester anyways. Had this for a government class. $100 for the book with no resell value. It's insane, and digital copies are only a bit cheaper. Spending around $600 a semester just on books is way out of proportion and these book companies should be sued for extortion. I'm sure Microsoft would love to get a piece of that market as well.
  • 1 Hide
    Gundam288 , October 5, 2012 1:09 PM
    thor220And you can only use that code for one semester anyways. Had this for a government class. $100 for the book with no resell value. It's insane, and digital copies are only a bit cheaper. Spending around $600 a semester just on books is way out of proportion and these book companies should be sued for extortion. I'm sure Microsoft would love to get a piece of that market as well.


    And likely overcharge for it, just like everyone else. =/
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