nook

Microsoft is reportedly considering tabling a $1 billion offer for the digital assets of its Nook Media joint venture. The deal would see the software giant assume control of the subsidiary’s e-book ecosystem, Nook e-readers and tablets from Barnes & Noble.

Nook HD

However, leaked documents obtained by TechCrunch appear to confirm that Nook’s Android tablet business will be discontinued by 2014.

The branded tablets will be gradually phased out as the company switches to a business model that will see Nook content distributed to “third-party” devices instead.

Barnes & Noble reported heavy losses during its earnings call in February, with its Nook business seeing a steep decline of almost 26% compared to the previous year.

Microsoft landed a 16.8% stake in Nook Media by investing $300 million in the company last year.

ZeptoLab has announced Cut the Rope: Time Travel. The sequel to its bestselling gaming app, Cut the Rope combines new gameplay features with elements of the original.

cut-the-rope-time-travel

“Ever wondered whether Om Nom is the only monster in his family with a sweet tooth?” said the developer. “Well, Om Nom is curious, too!

“He’s stumbled upon a time travel machine and is using it to go back in time and discover his roots, teaming up with his candy-chomping kin along the way.”

The game introduces multiple monsters to feed on the same screen, taking players through levels set in different time periods including the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Ancient Greece and the Stone Age.

ZeptoLab has also introduced ten new episodes of Om Nom Stories that are integrated into the game. The original Cut the Rope launched in October 2010, and was followed by first sequel Cut the Rope: Experiments in August 2011.

Cut the Rope: Time Travel is now available on iPhone, iPad, Android and NOOK.

* iPhone or iPod touch
* iPad
* Google Play
* Amazon
* Nook

Barnes & Noble and Microsoft today announced the formation of a strategic partnership in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary, which will build upon the history of strong innovation in digital reading technologies from both companies.

barnes-noble-nook

This is the press release with more details:

The partnership will accelerate the transition to e-reading, which is revolutionizing the way people consume, create, share and enjoy digital content.

The new subsidiary, referred to in this release as Newco, will bring together the digital and College businesses of Barnes & Noble. Microsoft will make a $300 million investment in Newco at a post-money valuation of $1.7 billion in exchange for an approximately 17.6% equity stake. Barnes & Noble will own approximately 82.4% of the new subsidiary, which will have an ongoing relationship with the company’s retail stores. Barnes & Noble has not yet decided on the name of Newco.

One of the first benefits for customers will be a NOOK application for Windows 8, which will extend the reach of Barnes & Noble’s digital bookstore by providing one of the world’s largest digital catalogues of e-Books, magazines and newspapers to hundreds of millions of Windows customers in the U.S. and internationally.

The inclusion of Barnes & Noble’s College business is an important component of Newco’s strategic vision. Through the newly formed Newco, Barnes & Noble’s industry leading NOOK Study software will provide students and educators the preeminent technology platform for the distribution and management of digital education materials in the market.

“The formation of Newco and our relationship with Microsoft are important parts of our strategy to capitalize on the rapid growth of the NOOK business, and to solidify our position as a leader in the exploding market for digital content in the consumer and education segments,” said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble. “Microsoft’s investment in Newco, and our exciting collaboration to bring world-class digital reading technologies and content to the Windows platform and its hundreds of millions of users, will allow us to significantly expand the business.”

“The shift to digital is putting the world’s libraries and newsstands in the palm of every person’s hand, and is the beginning of a journey that will impact how people read, interact with, and enjoy new forms of content,” said Andy Lees, President at Microsoft. “Our complementary assets will accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices, enabling people to not just read stories, but to be part of them. We’re at the cusp of a revolution in reading.”

Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have settled their patent litigation, and moving forward, Barnes & Noble and Newco will have a royalty-bearing license under Microsoft’s patents for its NOOK eReader and Tablet products. This paves the way for both companies to collaborate and reach a broader set of customers.

This is a very interesting move, and I look forward to seeing more of this in the near future. What do you think?

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