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Are they in or out? Microsoft may not purchase Nook after all

May 14, 2013|By Carolyn Kellogg
  • A 2001 Nook tablet from Barnes & Noble.
A 2001 Nook tablet from Barnes & Noble. (Jim Sulley / Associated…)

Earlier this month, Barnes & Noble stocks jumped at reports that its Nook unit would be sold to Microsoft for $1 billion. The website Techcrunch reported that it had obtained documents that outlined Microsoft's offer.

Now there is a counter-rumor: That Microsoft has no plans to make such a bid.

That comes from the lower-profile tech website InsiderMonkey. According to its unnamed source, Microsoft has made no moves to buy the Nook and none will be forthcoming, because of the different operating systems. Microsoft is attached to its Windows platform; the Nook uses Android.

It's not as if Microsoft has nothing to do with the Nook, however. In April 2012, it made a $300-million investment in Barnes & Noble's Nook unit, which includes the Nook e-readers, tablets, access to the digital content that can be played and read on them.

A major deal for the Nook would have been good news for Barnes & Noble. Revenues for the Nook unit declined over the holiday season by more than $100 million from the year before, a drop of 27%.

If the latest rumor is true, it looks like Barnes & Noble may be holding onto the Nook for another Xmas.


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