Just a few months ago it was rumored that B&N would no longer develop the Nook, and Nook owners were worried about the fate of their devices. Today, it was announced that Microsoft had bought a 17.6% stake in the company and plans are to integrate the Nook into the Windows operating system.
On the surface this seems like exciting news, but with the advance criticism of Microsoft’s Windows 8 already making the rounds it will be interesting to see how lucrative, if at all, this deal is for B&N. Also, B&N’s current greatest obstacle is its lack of global positioning: Nook readers are only available in the U.S. and its ebooks only distributable in the U.S. and to a lesser extent in Canada.
However, if Microsoft also integrates the Nook into older Windows systems such as the current Windows 7, and if Microsoft uses its position to take B&N global, then there might be a chance to make the Nook a real contender in the ebook business. That would be good news for consumers and publishers equally concerned about an Amazon monopoly.