It seems major tech companies are all aligning together to compete on every and any platform possible. Today, Barnes & Noble and Microsoft announced the creation of a new subsidiary focusing on the Nook e-reader, B&N e-book catalog, and B&N’s college business. The new subsidiary is preliminarily known as Newco, and Microsoft has invested $300 million in Newco, and also gets a 17.6% share in ownership. Microsoft has now bought their way into the eBook market, and will take on Amazon and Apple directly.
Barnes & Noble’s Nook comes in e-reader and tablet form, and look to be superior to Amazon’s Kindle’s line-up on the hardware side. The Nook Tablet is better than the Kindle Fire, but Amazon does get a lot more publicity. Also, Amazon has about a 60% share of the e-reader market, while B&N only has around 30%. Once we get to tablets, Apple obviously dominates with the iPad, but the Kindle bookstore is the biggest of the bunch.
Microsoft is backing the Nook significantly, and we will see what comes of this partnership, especially since the Nook runs Android. It’s already been revealed that there will be Nook application for Windows 8 at launch. Also, this deal ends the patent dispute between the two companies. A lot has been going on with the eBook market lately, including the legal dispute over the agency model between publishers and Apple. Tech companies continue to position themselves, and hopefully consumers will win with advanced interactive eBooks that are truly superior to their print counterparts.