This morning Microsoft and Barnes & Noble have announced that they have come to a settlement agreement and bowing out of the potentially historic court patent battle. You may recall that Barnes & Noble was one of only two major holdouts to patent license agreements with Microsoft. The other being Motorola who are in the process of being bought by Google. But wait it gets even better if you’re in the mood for juicy announcements. Barnes & Noble announced that they are spinning off the Nook eBook division and partnering with Microsoft in the formation of a new company NewCo, which has yet to be named.
Crazy right?! I know I feel the same. I keep asking myself so is frenemies the new in thing for the tech industry? This is what happens when everybody, yes everybody, figures out what is at stake in the mobile market.
This is a blockbuster announcement because the immediate and future implications are massive. Not just for the two companies involved but for several industries. Up til now Amazon had been widening their lead on Barnes & Noble with the introduction of their popular Kindle eBook line and their Kindle Fire has taken the media tablet market by storm on the strength of their name recognition and their ability to run Android Apps. This partnership with Microsoft now allows for both companies to square off with their arch enemies with much better footing.
This is a move out of total left field and we’ll be sure to flush out our thoughts in a series of posts coming up throughout the day. Check back regularly.
Source: Microsoft Press Release