Coming in just after the ebook pricing scandal is underway, Microsoft has joined with Barnes and Noble to secure its own stake in the ebook industry.
The first project of the agreement is a new arm for Barnes and Noble, hosted by Microsoft, for college textbooks.
The latter part will see a Nook app for Windows 8 – hinting at Microsoft toeing the water of ebook sales and Nook getting more ties to Windows platforms.
According to the Canadian Press article – posted to CBC – there has been increasing scrutiny of the fiscal viability of the Nook hardware lines from B&N shareholders, so getting in to bed with Microsoft might be exactly what it needs to assuage those concerns.
No doubt any agreement of this type will involve an exchange of money and, if there's enough, might secure some type of exclusivity.
But for now, it's just interesting to see Microsoft choosing this particular point in ebook history to get involved. Seems like the wrong time to me, but maybe it was the right deal at the wrong time.