April 30 - Microsoft is taking a stake in Barnes and Noble's Nook e-reader, opening up a new chapter in the four-way fight for dominance between tech titans Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Apple. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Microsoft is buying a stake in Barnes and Noble's Nook e-reader business, opening up a new chapter in the four-way fight for dominance between tech titans Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Apple. The $300 million investment is strategic- Microsoft will introduce a Nook app for its tablet friendly Windows 8, the upcoming version of its operating system expected in October. Mashable Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff: SOUNDBITE: LANCE ULANOFF, EDITOR IN CHIEF, MASHABLE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think it's really important for Microsoft. Microsoft needs partners to get excited about Windows phones so it needs a really good reader and lots of books. So this relationship with Barnes and Noble sort of is a competitive move I think against Apple, a little bit against Google, certainly for Barnes and Noble against Amazon. Microsoft will have a 17.6 percent stake in Barnes and Noble's new subsidiary- still without a name- for its Nook e-reader and textbook business. Barnes and Noble has about 27 percent of the digital book market- far behind the Amazon Kindle's 60 percent, but almost triple Apple's 10 percent. But there are other storylines going on here too- including the operating systems powering all the devices, and the battle for digital dollars. SOUNDBITE: LANCE ULANOFF, EDITOR IN CHIEF, MASHABLE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's really more or less a two-horse race. I mean it's really Android versus iOS, so its Apple vs Google in sort of the mobile platform space. In the digital goods space it's really Amazon versus everybody else and Amazon is really kind of a dominant player there because they don't just sell books they sell music, they sell movies and they sell a whole bunch of other retail goods through their platform." And it's all about the platform. Google has a big stake here, both the Kindle and the Nook operate on Google's Android system, but the alliance between Barnes and Noble and Microsoft, which wants to build its mobile presence, could create a new plot twist. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.