Why Windows 8 Will Be Bad for Barnes And Noble

Why Windows 8 Will Be Bad for Barnes And Noble

With over 54% of the android tablet market in the US, and a fourth quarter sales of £137 million, the Barnes and Noble nook e-readers are a none Apple or Amazon success story.  That success is great news for the retailer, and any writers associated with it, but the news that Microsoft has purchased a 17.6% share, in the newly created subsidiary Newco, could be bad for book sales.

Although the nook Tablet and Color uses an altered version of Android, until now Barnes and Noble have marketed the nook foremost as an e-reader.  If Windows 8 comes to the nook, in either an unlikely update or a more likely new product, the nook would become a tablet and not an e-reader.

A survey last year said that forty percent of ipad owners have never used their ipad to read an ebook.  Tablets are multi-purpose devices, with multiple distractions.  Microsoft does not care about selling books it cares about getting as much market share for Windows as possible.

Barnes and Noble may see this as a trade off because Windows 8 will now include a nook application.  However, just because the application is there does not mean people will use it.  With the purchase of a nook, or a kindle, a buyer is making a commitment to purchase books.  With the purchase of a tablet, they are committing to using a tablet but it may not be for reading.  That is bad news for a company whose priority is selling books.

What’s your view on the impact Windows 8 will have on nook?

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