Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have formed a new partnership that aims to accelerate the digital world's transition to e-reading.
A new Barnes & Noble subsidiary backed in part by Microsoft’s $300 million investment will bring together B&N’s digital and college businesses. The two companies have settled their patent
litigation and the new subsidiary will have a royalty-bearing license
under Microsoft's patents for its NOOK e-reader and tablet products.
Microsoft will have an approximate 17.6-percent equity stake and Barnes & Noble will own approximately 82.4 percent of the new subsidiary, which has yet to be named and which will have an ongoing relationship with the company's retail stores. One of the intended benefits for consumers will be a NOOK application for Windows 8, which will extend the reach of Barnes & Noble's digital bookstore by providing one of the world's largest digital catalogues of e-books, magazines and newspapers to hundreds of millions of Windows customers.
The inclusion of Barnes & Noble's college business is also an important component of the new subsidiary’s strategic vision. Through the newly formed company, Barnes & Noble's NOOK Study software will provide students and educators the technology platform for the distribution and management of digital education materials in the market.