Readersforum's Blog

June 21, 2012

Microsoft to launch tablet

Filed under: e-tailers — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 8:31 am

 |By Philip Jones

Computer giant Microsoft is to launch a tablet device competing head-on with Apple’s iPad, for the fast-growing tablet market. The Surface, which offers a slightly larger screen than the iPad, will “be priced like comparable tablets”.

The new device was unveiled by Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer at an event for journalists last night (18th June), though some seemed disappointed by the lack of specific details, including a launch date or price.

The move could, however, provide a fillip for Barnes & Noble, which went into partnership with Microsoft earlier this year. The tablet will operate Windows 8, on which B&N is providing the e-reading platform and store-front.

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May 6, 2012

Nooks, Books, and Schnooks

Filed under: e-tailers — Tags: , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 2:02 pm

Is Microsoft’s new alliance with Barnes & Noble folly? Or could it hurt Apple and Amazon?

By Matthew Yglesias

When the market closed last Friday, a share of Barnes & Noble was worth less than $14. By the time the opening bell rang on Monday, that same share was worth more than $25. A couple of days of trading have seen the price settle around $20.

These gyrations are a powerful reminder that financial markets move not only based on highly uncertain forecasts about the future, but also because of the whims of a handful of individuals. Specifically, the book retailer that looked to be on death’s door has been rapidly rescued because someone at Microsoft decided to get into the book business. On April 30, the cash-rich tech giant unexpectedly announced that it was pouring $300 million of startup capital into a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary in exchange for a 16.7 percent stake in the new company. According to basic math, that made the bookstore chain the owner of 83.3 percent of a $1.7 billion company, sending the overall stock price leaping. Beyond giving a shot in the arm to the ailing retailer, this at least holds out the prospect of transforming the e-book industry just weeks after the Justice Department transformed it with an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and several major publishers.

The partnership came together so swiftly that the companies involved didn’t even bother to come up with a name for their new venture, instead provisionally titling it Newco. Newco is made up of Barnes & Noble’s Nook business and its college division, plus a bunch of Microsoft’s money and patents, along with presumably some expertise.

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January 5, 2011

Rivals to the iPad Say This Is the Year

Welcome to the year of the tablet. Again.

By JOSHUA BRUSTEIN

Last year was supposed to be the year manufacturers would wow consumers with offerings of all sorts of tablet computers. Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, took the stage in January at the International Consumer Electronics Show, the industry’s premier trade show, and displayed three devices that he said would be on sale in the months ahead. Dozens of smaller companies laid out their own tablet plans at the show.

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