Barnes and Noble has announced this morning that it and Microsoft have agreed to terms on a spinoff of Barnes & Noble’s Nook line. The agreement will build a new LLC entitled Nook Media, with Barnes & Noble maintaining the lion’s share of Nook Media. Microsoft will invest $300 million in Nook Media, giving it a 17.6% equity stake. The partnership will immediately bring a Windows 8 app to the table at the Windows 8 launch on October 26th, which is good news for those of you planning to pick up Windows 8 tablets.
Statements from the companies are as follows:
“NOOK Media is a leader in developing the next generation of digital reading and we look forward to the company bringing one of the world’s largest digital libraries to Windows 8 devices via their upcoming Windows 8 app. We are also excited by NOOK Media’s product roadmap and expansion into markets around the world as demonstrated by their recent launches in the United Kingdom.” – Andy Lees, President, Microsoft
Barnes & Noble:
“As demand for digital content continues to increase, we are focused on bringing ground-breaking reading and learning content and technologies to more people in more formats than ever before, including the imminent launch of our exceptional NOOK reading application for Windows 8. We look forward to working closely with our new partner Microsoft to add value to their innovative new platform by bringing great reading experiences and one of the world’s preeminent digital bookstores to millions of Windows 8 users.” - William Lynch, CEO, Barnes & Noble
No word on whether a Windows Phone 8 application will be forthcoming as well, though we expect an application to be not too far off given Microsoft’s all out push to become the world’s 3rd most popular smartphone platform. Windows Phone 8 is set to launch later this month.