It looks like someone didn’t get the memo: Barnes & Noble inexplicably announced a new Nook tablet today.
“The new Nook 10.1-inch provides a complete reading and entertainment experience on our biggest display yet,” Barnes & Noble Chief Digital Officer Bill Wood said in a prepared statement. “The soft-touch feel and lightweight design make it a perfect holiday gift for readers who want to enjoy their favorite books for hours, while also being able to browse, watch shows, listen to music, or send emails all from one device. The Nook 10.1-inch is truly a gamechanger for the NOOK lineup.”
Aside from being attached to a dying e-book platform, the new Nook is also a 10.1-inch Android-based tablet being released in the year that hardware makers are abandoning Android-based tablets and using Chrome OS instead. So it’s sort of a two-fer.
The only reason I really mention it here is because the Nook represents a “what could have been” moment for Microsoft. As you may recall, Microsoft once owned part of the Nook business thanks to a $300 million investment. And when the business tanked in 2013, Barnes & Noble announced plans to spin it off. The software giant was rumored to have offered $1 billion for Nook so it could add the platform to its stable of consumer offerings.
Well, that never happened, of course. In 2014, Barnes & Noble decided to retain Nook and it bought out Microsoft’s share of the business. And that year, it partnered with Samsung on a line of Nook tablets, also running Android, in an attempt to jumpstart the business.
For its part, Microsoft eventually created its own e-book platform, which is available through Windows 10 and its Microsoft Edge web browser, which also works on mobile. But had it purchased Nook, it would have made its own e-reader hardware. Which, when you think of it, might have been a good use for that dual-screen nonsense that’s been rumored for years. Or as I called it at the time, a “Wook.”
Tagged with Nook