Is Microsoft about to rescue Barnes & Noble?
Yesterday we wrote about a strategic partnership that Barnes & Noble is forming with Microsoft.
Today we got aware of an article at Forbes.com that gives us another view on that deal. This article asks if Microsoft can rescue B&N as they did with Apple before.
If you did not know it, without Microsoft´s 150 million USD investment back in 1997, Apple probably would not exist anymore today. Apple had very bad times back there, and only the investment of Microsoft solved them.
Sure, it was a strategic move to ensure another platform for Microsoft´s software products. On the shadow side, Microsoft saved also their biggest competitor in mobile market.
Could something similar happen to B&N?
Barnes & Noble is also facing strong financial times at the moment.
B&N is shifting their whole eBook business into a subsidiary called Newco to clean up their numbers. With the recent announced partnership, Microsoft will own 17.6 % of Newco, the other 82.6 % will be still owned by B&N.
On top of that Microsoft has still an agreement for patent litigation when it comes to Android devices.
As we stated yesterday, this is good news for Microsoft. Apple has its iBook store; Amazon has its Kindle, which is also multi platform. And now Microsoft assures that their ecosystem will have an answer to those two on their own platform. Microsoft deserves to play well in all parts of ecosystems. Apple has a huge music store, and so Microsoft will continue to improve their music experience. And the same thing has to happen in the reading part of their ecosystem.
B&N is in trouble. They are losing money – a lot of money. With the upcoming Windows 8 OS and its great tablet capabilities, they are entering a market of 500 million users. With Windows Phone they are also entering in a new ecosystem for smartphones, and are able to provide a cross device experience. This will help them for sure.
But it is not clear if that is enough to go the Apple way for B&N. If the partnership does not pay off and B&N is still struggling, Newco is one of the next buyout candidates for Microsoft.
If you want to read more detailed numbers about the Apple deal and B&N, head over to our source link on Forbes.com.