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back to article Microsoft 'poised' to SPAFF A BEELLION on e-book also-ran Nook

Microsoft is poised to offer $1bn for e-book publisher Nook Media, which was spun out from bookshop biz Barnes and Noble, it is believed. Internal company documents suggest Nook will abandon its line of Android-powered e-reader tablets to focus on delivering electronic content across various platforms. And that would include …

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Why?

In the past M$ was able to just make darkness the industry standard when the light bulb blew, but they are not in the monopoly position any more.

I know competition is required in all markets, but unless you can do better than the alternatives, why bother?

In the UK, rather than doing a better job, industry just tries to get our Govt to legislate against the competition (check the crap web applications/search engines vs Google for example)

The only reason Google get any sales on their books is probably because people try their app out a few times. Amazon are the big runners and if Google cant stuff em, what chance Microsoft?

or do they just have a billion they will loose in tax otherwise (not to the UK obviously) they need to shift? Their thinking, anything is better than giving this money to the various country's who provide the framework in which we can safely make our money?

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The only reason Google get any sales on their books?

While I agree with your comments about M$ competition, I don't believe that Google's position is as dire as you believe. The Google bookshop has nearly all of the titles that Amazon has, at competitive prices; and critically, with Google it is easy to download an ePub, strip out the DRM, and use that standard file on any device you like. Unlike Amazon, there is no need for specialised apps or devices to read Google books.

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Stop

Re: The only reason Google get any sales on their books?

It's easy to strip the DRM off a Amazon ebook as well*, and Calibre will then convert it into any format you could want.

It's more a case of which monopoly you feel like giving your money to this week.

*(For personal archive reasons only of course.)

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Anonymous Coward

"Which monopoly"?

Huh? Neither Google nor Amazon hold a monopoly position in the ebook business, not by a long shot. Perhaps you simply meant to say "big company", rather than "monopoly"?

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FAIL

MSFT the Value Destroyer

Hotmail, Skype and now this. Is there no ending with MSFT's voracious appetite to buy high, sell low?

This is doomed to be yet another EPIC FAIL.

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Mushroom

Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

Microsoft has done well with Hotmail (400 million users now on Outlook.com) and Skype (250 million users)

Once Lync integrates closely with Yammer and Skype, Microasoft are going to make an even larger bundle from the corproates with that stack...

You know Microsoft just announced profits up 20%?

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Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

I was about to ask if you are Eadon in disguise, but then I saw Eadon's comment below.

God help us, there's two of you now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

Hi Eadon, new handle i see

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

He's logging in with 2 accounts, ever notice his posts tend always get one upvote, regardless of number of down votes?

Gotta love Eadon / Shagbag, it give a certain comedy value to the comments section

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

TheVogon is the commentard formerly known as RICHTO, a sort of Eadon-antiparticle. The odd thing though is that they have very rarely been active at the same time.

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Mushroom

Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

But at least TheVogon/RICHTO/Eadon/ShagBag are couragous enough to post their opinions under their own identities -- in contrast to the ubiquitous astroturfers who invariably post as AC!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

"But at least TheVogon/RICHTO/Eadon/ShagBag are couragous enough to post their opinions under their own identities -- in contrast to the ubiquitous astroturfers who invariably post as AC!"

Have to laugh when people use that argument while posting under a pseudonym. Usually rationalised with "You can see peoples' posting history and judge from that whether they're shilling/astroturfing/trolling/stupid/whatever denial I'm making!" If you can't judge a comment from its content, well. I have no advice for you other than back to English class (with respect to The Register, anyway.) When the aforementioned anti-AC argument has been used in the past, it's generally come across as "Hmm. This guy has posted something I disagree with. He's done that before. He's a shill blah blah blah." Not to actually judge a post, then, but to find an excuse to write it off because you don't like it.

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Childcatcher

Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

MS don't have the ability to deliver anymore, so they buy buy buy. And the result is, predictably, a complete mess, with each camp fighting internal political battles for turf.

Microsoft has a long history of buying up companies, both to quash competition and to expand its portfolio. Once upon a time, a viable business model was to create a startup, catch the Beast of Redmond's eye, sell the business, and retire. This works so well that other companies do it, too, even in the tech industry (e.g. Google, Facebook, Intel). In fact, I cannot imagine MS being the first to run this strategy, but they certainly made it work. Sure, there were some clunkers in the mix, but that is the price of business.

BTW, Eadon, do you do stand-up as well as written comedy? Good stuff!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

I think Skype had about as many users before being bought by Microsoft, Hotmail was well established before Microsoft too.

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Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

My thoughts 8^)

But on the positive side, we must that M$ did not ruin those like they did in so many other cases.

And we have no idea what they lost on the Skype and Hotmail deal. Amazing how much money they seem to be making in the few success areas. But this will work for a limited time only.

/Zane

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

How did you miss Nokia?

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Mushroom

Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

"MS has bought 3 similar solutions"

Fail right there.

I guess you still use CC:Mail under your rock, but in the real world, Lync is a unified communications package aimed at corporates, whereas Skype is a consumer focused communications tool. Linking them together will give a unified way for consumers to contact companies from their desktop and visa versa. Microsoft monetises Lync via license fees and Skype via adverts and VOIP call charges.

Yammer is a very different beast. It's like a cross between Linked in and Facebook for corporates: https://www.yammer.com/product/features/accessing-yammer/

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Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

> MS don't have the ability to deliver anymore, so they buy buy buy. And the result is, predictably, a complete mess, with each camp fighting internal political battles for turf.

Actually they always did "buy, buy, buy". MS-DOS (SCP), FrontPage (Vermeer), IE (from SpyGlass), VisualBasic (Tripod), MSC (from Lattice), PowerPoint (Forethought Inc), ...

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Stop

Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

"Hi Siri, Did Apple invent you?"

"Actually no. I was made by another company and partially funded by the American Government and bought by Apple."

Wake up and smell the coffee, All big Tech companies buy smaller tech companies for their outside-box-thinking and small firm intellectual mobility. It is how it is done.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MSFT the Value Destroyer

"WHY? Apple's strategy was stronger, "

You mean buy out other companies, just like MS? There is a thing called a search engine. Find one and type "Apple buys out", and look at one of the 1st hit, it may help you in your dark and lonely word.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Apple

.

OK can I explain to every one how it works in the big boy world of business

Businesses don't buy other companies for the staff (in the vast majority of cases), nor the hardware. It's true I promise. They buy the brand, technology and the user base, end of. Stock is just an added bonus / hassle.

Don't believe me? Why bother buying Jessops or HMV when they go broke? Just start a new one, saves sorting out all the crap with the administrators.

Why take over a company but bin the staff?

If you can buy a company with 200 million users, then that's 200 million less you have to sign up. 200 million that you can merge and migrate.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another firm ruined then.

"its difficulties"

Erm what would those be? Windows 8 sold 100 million copies, Microsoft just announced profit up 20%...

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Mushroom

Re: Another firm ruined then.

"And now Google are entering the desktop market. MS are going to get hammered in the desktop market sooner rather than later."

Erm, you mean the great success of the Chrome Book, lol? It makes Windows RT look like a top seller....

In terms of Server, Office and Desktop, Microsoft are still growing revenue, so whatever fantasy you are dreaming of shows no sign of making it to reality any time soon...

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Re: Another firm ruined then.

Anyone else think Eadon is just short for Eadon't know what e's on about...?

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JDX
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Why don't they just hatch a deal with Amazon - who sell more books on iPad than Apple do IIRC. Make Kindle the 'official' reader app for Windows.

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There's already a Kindle app for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone, so they don't really need to do anything. However it's pretty obvious that there is a market for digital books that is potentially a high profit sector, so why not move into that space too?

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JDX
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Because fragmentation is a pain when moving devices. They could agree not to launch their own service in return for a share of Amazon's profits. DRM aside, Kindle is a great cross-platform solution.

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Kindle is only a great cross-platform solution if you consider buying all your content from a single store to be a good idea. Personally I think it's desperately short sighted idea.

There is no reason that any consumable media that a person purchases like music, video or books should be tied to a single device, or to a single store. At the very least the DRM and formats should be supported by a wide variety of stores and devices. The closest thing to that for books would be EPUB with Adobe Digital Editions as the DRM.

Of course a far worse problem is that technically nobody is buying books at all, just the licence to read the book. And book sites lock themselves in with publishers into contracts that don't explicitly collude to keep prices high but the contracts essentially mean prices are kept high.

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sleep with the Amazon tiger?

Nope,

easy picking is what they want. No point in forging a deal with someone who currently thinks bigger than you.

The world is getting more competitive where both manufacturing and bricks and mortar outfits are made near bankrupt and then either enslaved or bought on the cheap.

They simply have no choice no the matter.

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Anonymous Coward

Nook

Well a billion may be too much, they seem to be in some sort of supply and demand difficulty, as witnessed here: https://twitter.com/NOOK_Care_UK

Worth a story, dear Reg?

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Mushroom

Re: Nook

Sounds like boring bollox to me. A 4 day wait is hardly earth shattering....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nook

Barnes and Noble are currently saying there is no stock. Nook UK are saying they are shipping. Someone is telling pork pies.

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Re: Nook

"Barnes and Noble are currently saying there is no stock. Nook UK are saying they are shipping. Someone is telling pork pies."

Maybe Nook is fulfilling existing orders and can't sell any more until they get new stock in, assuming they ever do.

I know from personal experience that last Saturday Argos didn't have a single Nook in the whole of Northern Ireland and neither did any branch of PC World or Currys. The Nook website said temporarily unavailable. I was lucky to have sauntered into an Argos Extra on the Sunday and their system showed there were 230 in stock in their Home Delivery service. Now home delivery shows there are zero. Fortunately I ordered one while they were there with free p&p too.

Basically they're gone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nook

I ordered mine 2nd May, they said they didn't have stock to cover that... The order numbers shown on twitter have incrememnt by 100,000 since my order.

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Re: Nook

I ordered my Simple touch on the 1st, turned up yesterday. considering (in the UK at least) the 4th, 5th and 6th were not 'business days' and that it came from somewhere in the Netherlands, i cant see the problem

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Pint

Re: Nook

I ordered one via the Blackwell's website on 1/5. Got the following today. Looks like I have time for a few refreshers before it arrives. I'm buying because the price is a good 'un. Considered a Kobo but never plunged. Rootable Android is a bonus :-)

****

We understand you are still waiting for your NOOK® Simple Touch. Due to an unprecedented number of orders, NOOK® have been delayed in delivering the stock needed to fulfil your order.

We sincerely apologise for this delay and would like to assure you that we are doing everything we can to expedite this delivery. We have been informed by our supplier that the shipment is on its way, so we expect to be able to start despatching orders by Wednesday next week. We shall of course confirm by email once your order has been shipped.

We would like to thank you for your continued patience and apologise once again for any inconvenience caused in this matter.

With very best wishes,

The Blackwell's Team

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Anonymous Coward

return of the (c)lit. RUUUUN!

There shall be only one. OK, two. And those pesky pedo-pirates.

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Microsoft used to have an ebook service

Microsoft Reader used to be their platform and it worked off .lit files (a zipped up HTML predecessor to EPUB) that could be purchased online. Sadly their DRM was not fit for purpose and nobody was especially interested in their Reader software either which might explain why it flopped. I actually owned 20 odd legitimately "purchased" .lit files. I put "purchased" in quotes because MS gave them away as part of a promotion. Some decent books in the list too - I read Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything from that giveaway.

Anyway, I got a Nook in the £29 giveaway though it's in the post. Those buggers sold like wildfire and had to order from Argos home delivery to obtain one. Not sure if I'll root it yet, or use it as-is with its built-in EPUB support.

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Linux

Android?

I like my Nook HD (running full Android and lighter and nicer to hold than my wife's Nexus 7). It would be a shame if the line were to be destroyed by Microsoft.

I'm intrigued, will they try to replace Android with Windows 8? Or will they sell Android-based gadgets?

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Re: Android?

As Nook are doing a fire sale of all their devices I think you've already got your answer.

Those nice black and white e-readers will not have a Windows RT equivalent as Windows RT's doesn't support that hardware. That'll leave just the more expensive colour e-readers which will be replaced with Windows RT slabs and maybe a UI limited (or should I say further limited) to e-books. And once again we'll have another fascinating example of how Windows RT fails to sell.

Why they think it's necessary to buy the Nook name is a mystery, if they were buying Kobo I could understand it. So much cash and so little idea of what to do with it.

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WTF?

no nooky

Ordered Nook.

Got email saying "problem with card".

Ordered another Nook with different card.

Got email saying "Out of stock, card refunded".

Got email saying "Now no problem with card".

Nook support "Sorry, too busy".

AM I GOING TO GET ONE, TWO OR NONE NOOKS?

If I had known that Microsoft were involved I would not have bothered in the first place.

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Argos have stock of the Glowlight

but the the £29 version is selling too fast. I got my cheapo from Asda on Tuesday when they were in stock for a matter of hours. The Glowlight is available in most places.

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Re: Argos have stock of the Glowlight

Well. So far I have had.

Card not accepted

Card issue corrected

Order will ship

Order won't ship and its cancelled cos we made a mistake

Order cancelled as I haven't given them information they didn't ask for

Order will be with me on the 17th.

I suspect that the email I wrote telling them they established a contract at stage 3 according to their t'sandc's to deliver two ereaders and if they didn't respond within 28 days I'd buy two similar e-readers and charge them the difference may have had an effect.

Dunno how many will actually be delivered though!

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Nook Care Issues

Just looking at their twitter feed, weird that it's the only way to get a response from them, and it appears order numbers are now 300,000 higher than my still to be delivered one.

I don't think that means there are several hundred thousand orders for the e-reader outstanding, I only found out about the site from a comment here. So I suspect those ord.nos are generate for all sales including ebooks etc, possibly worldwide sales too ?

As it is, I'm not holding out any hope of getting one, it'll probably drag on for weeks, and ruined any chance of me getting one elsewhere. Though no doubt ebay will be awash with sales from people trying to make five quid on the thing.

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Linux

M$ Love them or hate them, but...

I am no lover of M$, but I don't bash them for the sake of it, from previous press it would seem B & N where going to ditch the Nook anyway, therefore perhaps in this instance it is a good thing to keep another reader in the mix.

M$ like most big companies when it lacks a technology goes and acquires, must be cheaper to spend $1bn and hit the ground running, than the costs of starting up R&D, with a few years before you get a product to market, by which time the market has moved on.

Skype seems a better fit for M$ than it ever did for ebay. Hotmail, a bit of a laugh at first, lets buy it and show how well NT & Exchange servers scale, oops it does not, lets bung a few NT servers on the internet facing side and leave the BSD servers running the backend until we can get it working. Over 10 years later and hotmail is now outlook with millions of users, still going strong. Xbox early days, lets all buy one, as it will break M$ as they are losing $150 ish on every unit sold. Access Database and .....

Love them or hate them doubt they are going anywhere soon.

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FAIL

Re-enter the .. ZUUUUNE!

Mark my words.. the buggers will relaunch it as the Zune. Guess it saves on landfill.

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FAIL

MSFT = Kiss of the death

Goodbye Nook HD/HD+, running the nicest customized Android OS on one of the best-looking, most comfortable-to-hold hardware design - it was nice to know you...

...no, MSFT, thanks, I don't want it - you can go and fork yourself with your ugly, imbecile WP/W8-based Nooks, tablets, whatnot you will release in the future.

It was a horrible mistake when B&N, after developing and releasing the *nicest* media tablets at the time (last Fall), they decided to lock down its App Store, mimicking Amazon's approach without the same firepower (no AWS, no incredible R&D and marketing budget etc)...

...now Google's Play Store is fully available and Nook HD+ is literally dirt cheap for $179 (HD is $149 now) but it's exactly 6 months late, they've missed the entire Christmas season which alone could've saved the entire division (think about the effect on the market of this price tag back then, with full Google store etc.)

Too bad, I'm really sad to see these great devices to go - I think I will just pick up a Nook HD+ this weekend or next week and will enjoy it for a year or two, just like I do my Touchpad ever since HP's firesale in August 2011.

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