Microsoft mute on Nook app's bundling with Windows 8
Integration with OS unlikely, says analyst
Computerworld - Microsoft on Monday declined to say whether Barnes and Noble's Nook app for Metro will be embedded into Windows 8 or Windows RT.
Earlier in the day, Microsoft announced it was investing $300 million to acquire a 17.6% stake in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary that will include the bookseller's digital Nook and College business. Microsoft also guaranteed Barnes & Noble additional payments of $305 million over the next five years.
As part of the deal, Barnes & Noble will develop a Metro app for the Nook to run on Windows 8 and Windows RT.
What Microsoft didn't say was whether the app would be bundled with Windows 8 or Windows RT, or would be offered -- along with scores of other third-party apps -- as an optional download from the Windows Store.
"One of the first benefits for customers will be a Nook application for Windows 8," the companies said in a statement.
In a conference call with reporters and Wall Street analysts earlier Monday, neither of the two executives representing the firms -- William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble, and Andy Lees, president at Microsoft -- went further than that statement when talking about the Nook app and Windows.
If Microsoft did bundle the Nook app, the move would be significant: Adding the Nook to the roster of Microsoft-made Metro apps, such as Mail, Photos and Calendar, would give the jointly-owned company an advantage over rivals like Amazon on any new Windows 8 or Windows RT tablet, desktop, notebook or ultrabook.
That advantage could pay dividends to Microsoft, since NewCo -- the temporary name for the subsidiary -- will split revenue generated by the Windows 8 Nook app between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft.
In a follow-up telephone call with Computerworld Monday, a Microsoft spokesman declined to comment on how the Nook app with be distributed. Instead, he used the same phrase that Lynch and Lees applied in the conference call to parry several questions. "We are not announcing any other details of our roadmap," the spokesman said.
That leaves everyone guessing which of two paths Microsoft will take.
If it decides not to integrate the Nook app with Windows 8 and Windows RT, Microsoft would be following in rival Apple's footsteps. Apple does not include its iBooks bookselling app with iOS for the iPhone or iPad. Users can, of course, install the free app from Apple's App Store. There is no version of iBooks for OS X, Apple's desktop operating system.
The alternative would be to mimic Internet Explorer's place within Windows by including the Nook app with the new operating systems, making the e-bookstore app the platforms' default outlet for digital books, magazines and newspapers.
Microsoft continues to package IE with Windows, something that has gotten it into hot water with antitrust regulators. In the 1990s, Microsoft faced off against the U.S. government in a landmark case, which initially revolved around IE's integration. More than a decade later, European Union officials forced Microsoft to give EU citizens a way to choose a different browser.
- Windows' new normal shows software-as-a-service ambitions
- Microsoft extends Windows 8.1 Update migration deadline for business
- Microsoft puts the squeeze on Windows to shoehorn it into 16GB devices
- Google quashes 31 vulnerabilities, restores Metro mode 'steppers' with Chrome 34
- Microsoft drags customers 'kicking and screaming' into its world of faster updates
- Windows 8.1 Update deep-dive review: An OS that makes more sense
- Microsoft suspends Windows 8.1 Update release to businesses
- Windows 8.1 Update arrives today
- Microsoft requires migration to Windows 8.1 Update within 5 weeks
- FAQ: Good-bye old pal, old paint, Windows XP
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms As unprecedented numbers of enterprises build mobile applications, the mobile application development platform market continues to grow and evolve rapidly.
- The Total Economic Impact of IBM's Worklight Platform Mobile is the fastest growing consumer technology in history. As enterprises build apps to engage these new users they are facing increased complexity...
- Improve Your Mobile Application Security with IBM Worklight IBM® Worklight helps organizations extend their business across multiple mobile devices. It provides an open, comprehensive and advanced mobile application platform to help...
- Unlock the Value of Enterprise Mobility Download this guide and learn how to manage the secure deployment of enterprise mobile apps and data, while still encouraging the levels of...
- It's Chaos Out There Worried about your mobile apps? You should be; it's chaos out there. Check out this humorous video and see if you can recognize...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources... All Mobile Apps White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!