Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have announced the formation of a strategic partnership in a new to-be-named Barnes & Noble subsidiary which will build upon the history of strong innovation in digital reading technologies from both companies. The partnership will accelerate the transition to e-reading, revolutionizing how people consume, create, share and enjoy digital content.
This new subsidiary will bring together Barnes & Noble's digital and College businesses. The new company will also have a strong relationship with existing B&N retail stores, including those at colleges and universities. Microsoft will make a $300 million investment in the new company for an approximately 17.6% equity stake. (Barnes & Noble will own the rest.)
Barnes & Noble apps for Windows 8
One of the first consumer benefits of this new partnership will be a NOOK app for Windows 8, which will extend the reach of Barnes & Noble’s digital bookstore by providing one of the world’s largest digital catalogues of e-Books, magazines and newspapers to hundreds of millions of Windows customers around the world.
B&N and Microsoft in education
The inclusion of Barnes & Noble’s College business is an important component of this partnership's strategic vision. Through the newly formed company, B&N’s industry leading NOOK Study software will provide students and educators the preeminent technology platform for the distribution and management of digital education materials in the market.
Vision of the B&N/Microsoft digital reading partnership
“Microsoft’s investment in [this new partnership], and our exciting collaboration to bring world-class digital reading technologies and content to the Windows platform and its hundreds of millions of users, will allow us to significantly expand the business,” said William Lynch,the CEO of Barnes & Noble,in a press release.
“The shift to digital is putting the world’s libraries and newsstands in the palm of every person’s hand, and is the beginning of a journey that will impact how people read, interact with, and enjoy new forms of content,” said Andy Lees, president of Microsoft's phone division. “Our complementary assets will accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices, enabling people to not just read stories, but to be part of them. We’re at the cusp of a revolution in reading.”
Image of a student in a reading nook (get it?) from Capriciously Inspired.