Microsoft, Nook redo deal; no Microsoft e-reader in the works
It looks like the Nook Windows 8 app may be superseded by a Microsoft reading app. But the planned Nook Windows Phone app is seemingly tabled.
Mary Jo Foley
Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network.
On March 10, Microsoft and Nook Media updated their agreement forged two years ago, according to a new 8-K filing by Barnes & Noble.
Under terms of the amendment, Nook Media is allowed to discontinue distributing the Nook Windows app and to cease work on its Windows Phone app. Ouch.
There seemingly is a replacement app coming for the Nook Windows app, however. It's rather confusingly named "Microsoft Consumer Reader."
This is not a dedicated e-reader, I hear from my sources. (Such a device from Microsoft has been rumored in the past.) Instead, I think this is just the name for one of Microsoft's coming e-reading apps.
There seem to be at least two of these apps in the works. The Microsoft Office Reader app, which company officials showed off last year at an employee meeting, will provide users with access to digital content, PDFs, and textbooks, according to leaks.
Update: That tweet seems to have been deleted. Here's what it said:
I asked Microsoft what the "Microsoft Consumer Reader" is and was told by a spokesperson: "We are always looking for ways to evolve and innovate on our app experiences for customers. We have nothing further to share at this time."
Pursuant to the Amendment, NOOK Media LLC ("NOOK Media") and Microsoft agreed to co-branding within the Microsoft Consumer Reader for reading content delivered by NOOK Media. The Amendment also provided that subject to certain conditions NOOK Media would be permitted to discontinue distributing the NOOK Windows app and will cooperate in good faith with Microsoft to transition users to the Microsoft Consumer Reader. Microsoft and NOOK Media also agreed to updated revenue sharing to address this possibility. The Amendment also permits NOOK Media to cease efforts with respect to a Windows phone app."
The two companies have also updated their revenue-sharing terms as part of this amendment, but they aren't disclosing the particulars.