Microsoft eyed as potential buyer of Nook business as Barnes & Noble CEO resigns

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Market watchers believe Microsoft could swoop in to buy Barnes & Noble's Nook tablet business after the struggling bookseller has parted ways with its CEO and signaled plans to restructure.

Nook


Barnes & Noble first announced last week that it plans to exit the highly competitive tablet hardware business, and that it will instead let third-party partners build future Nook devices. The Nook lineup failed to compete with Apple's iPad, Amazon's Kindle Fire and others.

Further adding to Barnes & Noble's troubles, the company's chief executive officer, William Lynch, resigned this week. And now industry insiders are speculating, according to The New York Times, that Microsoft could be a potential buyer of the Nook business.

Last year, Microsoft invested $300 million into Barnes & Noble's Nook business. At the time it was believed the investment could pave the way for a new spin-off company.

But with the departure of Lynch, Barnes & Noble has not opted to name a new CEO. Instead, Chief Financial officer Michael P. Huseby has been named chief executive of the Nook division and president of Barnes & Noble ? both of which are new titles for the company.

Citing a current "transition period," Barnes & Noble indicated it has no intention of naming a new CEO in the near future.

With its $300 million investment, Microsoft currently has a 17.6 percent stake in the Nook business. While current Nook hardware runs a heavily modified version of Google's Android platform, Microsoft already competes in the tablet markets with devices running its Windows 8 and Windows RT platforms.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,304member
    That's a guaranteed winning combination, Microsoft's Tablet strategy and Nook. What could go wrong ...?
  • Reply 2 of 22
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    That's a guaranteed winning combination, Microsoft's Tablet strategy and Nook. What could go wrong ...?




    A perfect fit.

  • Reply 3 of 22
    So the Nook will gain a kickstand and a 3-button, corded mouse.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TeaEarleGreyHot View Post



    So the Nook will gain a kickstand and a 3-button, corded mouse.




    ... and a fan. It will now come in brown.

  • Reply 5 of 22
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,761member
    That's a guaranteed winning combination, Microsoft's Tablet strategy and Nook. What could go wrong ...?

    The same thing that went wrong when Danger, Inc. met Microsoft's mobile phone strategy. The end of the Sidekick, and the beginning of a little gem called KIN. Also, the end of KIN.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,761member
    So the Nook will gain a kickstand and a 3-button, corded mouse.

    Hey, they got it working on Tablet PCs years ago, so why can't it also work now? /s
  • Reply 7 of 22
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member


    Thank God! This article did not mention google could buy it.

  • Reply 8 of 22
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,133member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post





    The same thing that went wrong when Danger, Inc. met Microsoft's mobile phone strategy. The end of the Sidekick, and the beginning of a little gem called KIN. Also, the end of KIN.


    I don't know, this device could become the Next of KIN.

  • Reply 9 of 22
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,744member
    saarek wrote: »
    I don't know, this device could become the Next of KIN.


    Nice!

    [VIDEO]<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/obKLdou0LH0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>[/VIDEO]
  • Reply 10 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,754member
    Market watchers believe Microsoft could swoop in to buy Barnes & Noble's Nook tablet business after the struggling bookseller has parted ways with its CEO and signaled plans to restructure.

    Last year, Microsoft <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/04/30/microsoft_to_invest_300_million_in_barnes_nobles_nook_platform">invested $300 million</a> into Barnes & Noble's Nook business. At the time it was believed the investment could pave the way for a new spin-off company.

    IMO (and some others) Microsoft's "investment" in B&N's Nook business last year was essentially a reverse payment to protect MS Android licensing efforts. B&N apparently didn't sign the non-disclosure agreement Microsoft wanted before beginning license negotiations with them. MS eventually sued when they couldn't get Barnes&Noble to agree with their offer for supposed IP infringements by Android. So when it came court-time B&N was disclosing quite a few docs that MS would likely have preferred never saw the light of day, including specific patents that MS was claiming and never before spelled out due to other licensee's NDA's. Microsoft giving B&N $300M and an accompanying statement that B&N had "agreed to take a royalty-bearing license" stopped the document leaks. That Microsoft would now be the one to finish it off, buy the rights to Nook and put it all in a coffin never to be seen again doesn't surprise me.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    chandra69 wrote: »
    Thank God! This article did not mention google could buy it.

    Not enough FRAND patents, I suppose.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    I'm rolling on the ground laughing my a$$ off!
    Steve Ballmer needs to go. PCs used car salesman should retire. His time has passed along with CRT screens.
  • Reply 13 of 22
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post


    Thank God! This article did not mention google could buy it.



     


    Google's too smart to do something this dumb.


     


    Google would only be interested if there were a rumor about Apple buying Nook.

  • Reply 14 of 22
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    IMO (and some others) Microsoft's "investment" in B&N's Nook business last year was essentially a reverse payment to protect MS Android licensing efforts. B&N apparently didn't sign the non-disclosure agreement Microsoft wanted before beginning license negotiations with them. MS eventually sued when they couldn't get Barnes&Noble to agree with their offer for supposed IP infringements by Android. So when it came court-time B&N was disclosing quite a few docs that MS would likely have preferred never saw the light of day, including specific patents that MS was claiming and never before spelled out due to other licensee's NDA's. Microsoft giving B&N $300M and an accompanying statement that B&N had "agreed to take a royalty-bearing license" stopped the document leaks. That Microsoft would now be the one to finish it off, buy the rights to Nook and put it all in a coffin never to be seen again doesn't surprise me.


     


    This seems likely to me.  


     


    Also, why would anyone buy the Nook hardware business, let alone Microsoft?  The whole premise makes no sense.  Barnes & Noble are doing okay *except* for the Nook hardware business which is loosing so much money it's dragging the company down the toilet.  So they cut it off and fire the CEO.  Why would anyone in their right mind buy the failing part of the business that they just cut off like it's a piece of cancer?  The whole article is ridiculous.

  • Reply 15 of 22
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member


    I like the Nook.  However, there are plenty of eReaders out there.


     


    I just hope that B&N itself stays in business with its brick and mortar outlets.  


     


    My family really missed Borders when it closed all its stores.  (Where we live, it had the closest bookstores by far.  B&N is much further away for us.)

  • Reply 16 of 22
    captain jcaptain j Posts: 313member
    Lots of LOL here.

    I do enjoy my Nook Glowlight at night while wife is going up sleep.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KDarling View Post


    I like the Nook.  However, there are plenty of eReaders out there.


     


    I just hope that B&N itself stays in business with its brick and mortar outlets.  


     


    My family really missed Borders when it closed all its stores.  (Where we live, it had the closest bookstores by far.  B&N is much further away for us.)



     


    My local Borders was replaced with a Books A Million, which is alright. I prefer B&N far more though.


     


    Best of luck to brick and mortar book stores.


     


    I like a lot of B&N's concepts and ideas with the Nook. Allowing owners to read Nook books for free while they're at a B&N brick and mortar location was ingenious. If only the hardware had taken off...

  • Reply 18 of 22
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member


    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Further adding to Barnes & Noble's troubles, the company's chief executive officer, William Lynch, resigned this week. And now industry insiders are speculating, according to The New York Times, that Microsoft could be a potential buyer of the Nook business.


     


    Years of losses, in both brick-and-mortar stores and Nook divisions.  Grim future.


    What to do?  What to do?  Aha!  Here's the plan:


     


    First we'll sell off the Nook division to some techno-sucker while it still has some value.  Any value.


    Hello Microsoft!  How ya doin' Steve?


     


    Then we'll prepare the brick-and-mortar stores for a selloff.  Because we're way better than Borders.


    Maybe Amazon will buy us...

  • Reply 19 of 22
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KDarling View Post


    I like the Nook.  However, there are plenty of eReaders out there.


     


    I just hope that B&N itself stays in business with its brick and mortar outlets.  


     


    My family really missed Borders when it closed all its stores.  (Where we live, it had the closest bookstores by far.  B&N is much further away for us.)



     


    This is what worries me too.  I'm a big supporter of Apple in general and I understand why they don't want to let competing bookstores on their products, but the "end game" of what's happening in the industry right now is basically the death of all but one or two book stores, both brick and mortar, and eBooks.  


     


    If the only way that bookstores can keep in business is to make their own hardware, then it's plainly obvious that most every bookstore will ultimately fail.  We are very quickly arriving at a situation where Apple and Amazon are the entire eBook market, and Amazon is a horrible business that's been on the brink of collapse for almost it's entire life.  What if Amazon goes and Apple's devices come to dominate the mobile device market? (two extremely likely things actually).  


     


    There needs to be a focus on side loading content into iBooks, which currently many people are unaware they can even do.  Apple needs to develop an easy way to find the product anywhere on the web (not just in the iBooks store), and load it onto your device of choice with a single click.  That bullshit of using iTunes and then copying, then syncing is not good.  


     


    Perhaps this is what iBooks on OS X is all about, but they need to drop the *need* for iBooks in the first place.  Otherwise they are being anticompetitive IMO.  

  • Reply 20 of 22
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    This is what worries me too.  I'm a big supporter of Apple in general and I understand why they don't want to let competing bookstores on their products, but the "end game" of what's happening in the industry right now is basically the death of all but one or two book stores, both brick and mortar, and eBooks.  

    If the only way that bookstores can keep in business is to make their own hardware, then it's plainly obvious that most every bookstore will ultimately fail.  We are very quickly arriving at a situation where Apple and Amazon are the entire eBook market, and Amazon is a horrible business that's been on the brink of collapse for almost it's entire life.  What if Amazon goes and Apple's devices come to dominate the mobile device market? (two extremely likely things actually).  

    There needs to be a focus on side loading content into iBooks, which currently many people are unaware they can even do.  Apple needs to develop an easy way to find the product anywhere on the web (not just in the iBooks store), and load it onto your device of choice with a single click.  That bullshit of using iTunes and then copying, then syncing is not good.  

    Perhaps this is what iBooks on OS X is all about, but they need to drop the *need* for iBooks in the first place.  Otherwise they are being anticompetitive IMO.  

    If amazon were to fail which I agree is likely considering their earnings and profit are never great, Google or Microsoft even would swoop in to buy them.

    Apple will never be the only player in the book market even as the brick and mortar stores continue to falter.
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