In an attempt to resuscitate its failing e-reader division, Barnes & Noble has decided to split into two companies.
According to Mashable, the company will separate the division for its Nook e-readers into a separate company by the end of the first quarter of 2015. Barnes & Noble CEO Michael Huseby released this statement:
“We believe we are now in a better position to begin in earnest those steps necessary to accomplish a separation of NOOK Media and Barnes & Noble Retail. We have determined that these businesses will have the best chance of optimizing shareholder value if they are capitalized and operated separately.”
Basically, this means he hopes the separate Nook company will be more flexible on its own and therefore acquire more partnerships or even new owners. Microsoft, for example, could theoretically purchase the company. But branching off may have little to no impact on the Nook company. It’s been struggling for years, and has continued to decline in sales revenue, as other e-readers and phone apps compete in the digital market.
Guess we’ll have to wait at least another six months to see what happens.
Could the Barnes and Noble Nook soon be getting a massive upgrade? That’s still up for debate, but it sure has gotten a huge financial boost, thanks to Microsoft.
According to the L.A. Times, Microsoft, which has stayed out of the e-reader business until now, is now giving Barnes and Noble $300 million for its new Nook-led subsidiary. As previously reported, the new branch of Barnes and Noble is something the company’s been considering for the past few months.
The subsidiary, which would act as an entirely separate Nook-led branch under B&N’s umbrella, has the temporary name Newco. Microsoft will get a 17.6 shares in the spinoff. As Carolyn Kellogg points out, however, it’s odd that Barnes and Noble chose Microsoft — of all companies — to help them out.
Microsoft’s investment was, at least by most in publishing, unexpected. Last we heard, Microsoft was suing Barnes & Noble over alleged patent infringements related to the Nook, which could have blocked importation to the U.S. after its offshore manufacture. As part of the new Nook deal, Microsoft and Barnes & Noble announced settlement of the patent suit.
Now that the two companies have kissed and made up, some are wondering what advancements could be made to the second-place e-reader — behind Amazon’s Kindle — with all that extra money.
So I ask you, fellow Nook users, what kind of improvements would you like to see? How do you think Microsoft could change the future of Barnes and Noble, if at all?
Bill Gates is best known for his computer work. But now he’s entering another field: book reviews.
According to this article by the L.A. Times, Gates has been reviewing books on his personal web site, The Gates Notes, since March of this year. It seems that the majority of the books he’s read and reviewed are nonfiction and align with his philanthropic interests, like healthcare, education, and technology. Just a few of the books he’s read include Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools by Steven Brill, Global Warming: The Complete Briefing by John Houghton, and The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa by Deborah Brautigam.
When I first read this article about Gates’ new venture into book reviews, I thought “What does he know? I thought he only knows computers.” But he is a Harvard dropout, and his worldly interests and opportunities have given him a real-life perspective into many of the topics he’s reading about and reviewing. That being said, his reviews are pretty good and eloquently written.
So if you ever get sick of me, just know you can always go to The Gates Notes and see what Bill Gates has to say about the latest nonfiction reads on prevalent social issues.