By Joe Wilcox
Nobody partners, or negotiates deals, like Microsoft. That's evident from today's stunning agreement with Barnes & Noble, which is sure to turn the ebook market on its head. The two will jointly invest in Newco, temporary name for ebook venture that incorporates B&N's digital and College business divisions. B&N gets partner in Microsoft, which invests $300 million, for 17.6 percent stake; both parties end ongoing patent disputes, largely related to Android; and Microsoft launches Windows 8 with native Nook Reader application. All around it's win-win, after losing a decade ago.
That's right, Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have been here before, in pioneering ebook ventures that failed. Both companies jumped on ebooks back when Amazon, which makes the popular Kindle, was still just a struggling Web 2.0 startup. Microsoft Reader led the first big ebook push at the turn of the century, and Barnes & Noble launched its original e-bookstore using the software. I bought my first ebooks there about 12 years ago. But by late 2003, it was over; Barnes & Noble gave up on ebooks -- a market later re-entered only after Amazon's Kindle success. Microsoft kept producing Reader software, but that's done, too, when the software retires on August 30.
More about that cooperation: http://betanews.com/...ational-ebooks/