Microsoft And Barnes And Noble Team Up On eBooks And Education?

If you haven’t heard for a legitimate reason, like a coma or temporary death, Barnes and Noble has teamed up with Apple in a ‘strategic partnership” involving e-Books.

Yeah. Process that one for a bit.

Basically there’s a new B&N subsidiary that rolls the Nook and college/educational businesses together. Microsoft invested in it. The results are this could be a separate business, an adsorbed one . . . or one, say, sold to Microsoft. Think about that for a moment.

We just saw two of Apple’s competitors team up with a “daughter” company in powerful markets.

Heree’s your takeaways:

  • I’ve suspected something is up with B&N’s plans in education, and I think this was coming for awhile. Protip: don’t write B&N off, they’re obviously working quietly behind the scenes.
  • This is to Apple’s disadvantage of course, but also note this settled B&N vs Microsoft patent litigation. Apple’s still facing plenty over ebooks, while this clears the air.
  • Lots in all of this is Amazon’s reasonably-priced 300 pound gorilla. A Microsoft-B&N partnership or spinoff is also a challenge to Amazon.
  • B&N supports the more universal ePub format. Just saying’ this could give it a shot in the arm.
  • Job opportunities will clearly come of this. Take a look at the opportunities (if you’re lucky it’s near B&N’s offices in Palo Alto, which is an awesome city).
  • Microsoft can probably leverage this partnership for their e-devices, which are needless to say behind the market.
  • If this is done as a spinoff company it could be huge. Imagine a company created just as a rival to Apple/Amazon, backed by these two. Imagine a company using a universal format. Imagine a company, say . . . I dunno, buying Lulu . . . .

Things just got a lot more interesting in the eBook world.

Steven Savage