Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 30th Apr 2012 11:53 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Barnes & Noble is spinning off its Nook e-reader business into a new company - which will be a cooperation with Microsoft. Redmond will invest $300 million into the new company, and on top of that, the two companies have settled the patent litigation, which was part of Microsoft's string of mafia practices against Android vendors. I have a sneaking suspicion this will be the end of the line for the Android-based Nook e-readers and tablets. Get 'm while supplies last.
Order by: Score:
no justice
by stabbyjones on Mon 30th Apr 2012 12:12 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

the only company that had any balls is turning nook into suse now?

good work...

Reply Score: 6

Windows RT for ARM incoming
by jgagnon on Mon 30th Apr 2012 12:14 UTC
jgagnon
Member since:
2008-06-24

No doubt.

I can see Microsoft doing this simply because just as Windows RT is about to head out the door, it's already mostly irrelevant considering the sharp contrast between it and the capabilities of the x86 version of Windows. Not to mention the steep rise in "tablet-level" performance we are seeing.

Someone should teach Microsoft to not point guns at their own feet.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Windows RT for ARM incoming
by MollyC on Mon 30th Apr 2012 19:04 UTC in reply to "Windows RT for ARM incoming"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Maybe WinRT exists because nobody ever ruled MS to have a monopoly on ARM, so they can bundle whatever they want with WinRT (e.g. Office, Nook reader, etc).
The USDOJ case against MS resulted in a ruling that MS had monopoly on "x86" processor operating systems. The ARM world is free for MS to do whatever they want.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Windows RT for ARM incoming
by jgagnon on Mon 30th Apr 2012 20:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Windows RT for ARM incoming"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

What I meant, and said poorly, was that Windows RT isn't even out yet and it is already in jeopardy because of Intel's newest mobile processors. They're fast enough to run the "real" Windows on a mobile device and that makes them a threat to Windows RT's relevance. Who would bother to choose Windows RT over Windows 7/8 if given the choice?

There will still be RT devices sold because it is an OEM-only install, but it sure complicates Microsoft's life if someone else is selling a Win 7/8 device with similar physical characteristics and mostly incompatible Windows software. Microsoft needs to dominate both spaces (mobile and desktop) with "separate but equal" products to sustain its livelihood.

I'm sure Microsoft is constantly calculating on how to get Windows into ARM territory to compete against Android and this is one very convenient way to do it. Now they will likely have a legitimate Windows RT install on a (soon to be formerly) Android device. It will be a closed system they can control.

They want to compete against Android on ARM, not x86, and the further they can keep those camps apart the better off they are. With an "ARM-like" x86 chip out there in the wild, Microsoft begins to compete with itself (Win RT versus Win 8). On another front, Intel is actively working on solidifying and improving the port of Android from ARM to x86. Not a good situation for Microsoft.

I'm going to predict that Intel will be Microsoft's biggest thorn in the coming months/years, if not by choice. Intel is making "Android Everywhere" a possibility while trimming their hardware profile to a point that it can directly compete with ARM technology. I predict Windows RT will be a dead-end product. Why switch from Android to Windows if your apps can't come along (either from your laptop/desktop or from your phone)? The ONLY way Microsoft stands a chance is if it can get a lot of developer buy-in on Windows RT, which is possible, but not likely in my world view.

We live in interesting times.

Reply Score: 3

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

If Windows RT sales are cannibalized by Windows x86 sales, Microsoft won't care in the least, a Windows license is a Windows license, they make money either way.

Windows NT was once available for Alpha, MIPS and PowerPC processors, and when x86 overtook everything else and took over, MS happily killed them, it simplifies things greatly, only one product to support, not 2 or 4.

Edited 2012-04-30 20:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

Your Windows 8 Metro apps *can* come along just fine, that's the point. It's the legacy Win32 stuff that's a dead end as far as MS is concerned. Whether the public will buy into it, who knows.

As for the Nook, I don't see there being any issues regardless of whether or not they switch underlying OSes. All they have to do is keep hitting their pricepoints and producing well made hardware and we're copacetic. The epubs don't care what OS they're read on, and frankly most people buying ereaders don't care either.

Reply Score: 2

Microsoft's battle against Linux
by andydread on Mon 30th Apr 2012 12:17 UTC
andydread
Member since:
2009-02-02

This seems like the Nokia angle in Microsoft's battle against Linux. In this case first they extort with dubious software patents then purchase exclusivity in the marketplace.

Reply Score: 5

Damn!
by dsmogor on Mon 30th Apr 2012 12:48 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

Looks, like their patents are enforceable. B'n'N was the only company that had balls to fight frontally.
Looks like MS money was sweeter than OS independence. Apparently Amazon success made them less self confident.
Does Amazon pay MS for Android?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Damn!
by MOS6510 on Mon 30th Apr 2012 13:01 UTC in reply to "Damn!"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Perhaps they were just playing hard to get to get more from a Microsoft take over.

Or maybe they thought they wouldn't survive on a battleground that features Amazon, Apple and Microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Damn!
by Laurence on Mon 30th Apr 2012 13:31 UTC in reply to "Damn!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Looks, like their patents are enforceable. B'n'N was the only company that had balls to fight frontally.
Looks like MS money was sweeter than OS independence. Apparently Amazon success made them less self confident.
Does Amazon pay MS for Android?

Sadly we will never know if Microsoft's patents were enforceable. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Microsoft offered this much money knowing that:
a/ their patents would never be invalidated thus keeping their Android royalties streaming in
b/ guaranteeing a platform to release their new flagship tablet OS.

All in all, this is a clever move by Microsoft.

Edited 2012-04-30 13:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Damn!
by shmerl on Mon 30th Apr 2012 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Damn!"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Other way around, they offered that much money knowing that otherwise B&N would invalidate their bogus patents, and it would cause others to start fighting their racket as well. So they just decided to buy off the only resolute fighter. It's a bribe in short. B&N didn't have decency to spit back on it.

Edited 2012-04-30 18:05 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Damn!
by Laurence on Tue 1st May 2012 08:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Damn!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Other way around, they offered that much money knowing that otherwise B&N would invalidate their bogus patents, and it would cause others to start fighting their racket as well. So they just decided to buy off the only resolute fighter. It's a bribe in short. B&N didn't have decency to spit back on it.

That's exactly what I just said *facepalm*

I swear sometimes people on here are so keen to express an alternative option that they don't even bother reading the post that they're supposedly rebutting.

Edited 2012-05-01 08:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Damn!
by shmerl on Tue 1st May 2012 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Damn!"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Then you expressed it rather strangely:

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Microsoft offered this much money knowing that:
a/ their patents would never be invalidated thus keeping their Android royalties streaming in


I.e. you said MS are sure their patents wouldn't be invalidated. I said on the other hand that MS are scared that their patents will get invalidated, crumbling their global racket scheme, that's why the bought off B&N.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Damn!
by Laurence on Tue 1st May 2012 23:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Damn!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Then you expressed it rather strangely:

"I wouldn't be at all surprised if Microsoft offered this much money knowing that:
a/ their patents would never be invalidated thus keeping their Android royalties streaming in


I.e. you said MS are sure their patents wouldn't be invalidated. I said on the other hand that MS are scared that their patents will get invalidated, crumbling their global racket scheme, that's why the bought off B&N.
"

That clearly states that offering this money to B&N will ensure that MS's patents never get invalidated in court. Which is exactly what you said too.

Sorry but I don't see the confusion. Maybe I'm just too familiar with the context of my post given that I wrote it, but it makes perfect sense to me. ;)

Plus even if the sentence does read the other way round (eg that I'm inferring that MS thought their patents would never be invalidated) then my whole comment makes no sense. So the logical deduction would have been the actual intended context.

Anyway, semantics aside, we agree on the actual point that matters ;)

Edited 2012-05-01 23:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Damn!
by Valhalla on Mon 30th Apr 2012 17:06 UTC in reply to "Damn!"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

I see this simply as Microsoft buying their way out of a bad situation. B&N were calling for the DOJ to investigate Microsoft's patent trolling while also showing patents in question to the world by refusing to accept the 'licence-deal' with it's accompanying NDA.

Yes, it's a shame Microsoft is able to buy itself out of this, but calling it a win?

If anything this shows other potential targets of Microsoft's patent racketeering that when push comes to shove, Microsoft has no interest in actually going to court and have their 'patents' scrutinized.

This certainly is a win for B&N though, they get $300 million 'investment' from Microsoft into a new joint venture where B&N hold 82.4% ownership. For them, if their 'readers' end up running android or windows probably makes little to no difference as they are making their money off content (e-books).

Reply Score: 7

RE: Damn!
by MollyC on Mon 30th Apr 2012 19:06 UTC in reply to "Damn!"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

IIRC, Amazon does pay MS for patent licenses for a bunch of stuff, including Android. But I'm too lazy to verify my recollection. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Damn!
by lemur2 on Tue 1st May 2012 00:53 UTC in reply to "Damn!"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Looks, like their patents are enforceable. B'n'N was the only company that had balls to fight frontally.


Nope. B&N had already eliminated almost all of the patents Microsoft brought against them.

The more probable conclusion is that Microsoft bought B&N in order to avoid an embarrassing loss in the sham case against B&N and thereby ending their extortion racket against Android vendors.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Damn!
by lemur2 on Tue 1st May 2012 04:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Damn!"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Looks, like their patents are enforceable. B'n'N was the only company that had balls to fight frontally.


Nope. B&N had already eliminated almost all of the patents Microsoft brought against them.

The more probable conclusion is that Microsoft bought B&N in order to avoid an embarrassing loss in the sham case against B&N and thereby ending their extortion racket against Android vendors.
"

Backup:

http://www.muktware.com/news/3563/microsoft-barnes-noble-settle-pat...

"In its signature style Microsoft has settled the patent dispute with Barnes & Noble. The company was losing the legal fight against Barnes & Noble and a court decision certainly was going to trash Microsoft's strategy of ripping Android players over bogus patents.

Microsoft Paying $300 Million In Damages?

As a 'payment' to Barnes & Noble for settling the bogus patent dispute Microsoft is creating a subsidiary for Barnes & Noble with a whooping $300 million investment for 17.6% stake whereas B&N holds 82.4% stake in the new company. This is a smart move by Microsoft to save its image and continue its attack on Android by spinning its 'defeat' in legal fight against B&N as a 'partnership'."

Reply Score: 4

Will I have to buy a Win 8 device?
by phoehne on Mon 30th Apr 2012 13:37 UTC
phoehne
Member since:
2006-08-26

As my wife and I accumulate more books on our nooks, I'm wondering if there will come a point where I will have to 'upgrade' to a Windows 8 tablet? I can't imagine that Microsoft will be interested in producing anything like a $99 ebook reader. Maybe, maybe not? Or, maybe they'll just implode. High profile joint ventures don't have great track records.

Or maybe I'm just reading this wrong and Microsoft needs to deal with Amazon by having a similar media consumption story for its Win RT tablets? There's evidence that a lot of Kindle Fire buyers view the device as an e-book reader with some cool features. If that's the case maybe Microsoft is looking at the relationship with B&N as a way to position lower end Win RT tablets as an alternative to the Kindle Fire?

Either way. It's a little weird.

Reply Score: 3

n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows RT tablets would already have been an alternative to the Kindle Fire since the Kindle app is currently available in the Windows Store along with other eReader apps.

Reply Score: 2

phoehne Member since:
2006-08-26

I would think you would take it farther than just having the app available in the app store. You might tie the activation so that when you activate your Windows RT tablet you can immediately tie it to the B&N store. As amazing as it sounds, that one little barrier of having to install the app vs having the app already on there is enough to make a large number of people to go with the default.

Reply Score: 2

matthewp131
Member since:
2011-09-21

I wanted B&N to fight this battle to the end, as seemingly they were the only one interested in fighting Microsoft.

Reply Score: 6

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Microsoft uses classical mafia methods. Since racket backfired on them, they use bribes to calm things down.

Reply Score: 4

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Of courst you wanted B&N to fight to the finish, because it wasn't your money at stake. Maybe B&N saw that they were headed to a loss, and they're not in the healthiest of shape to begin with.

Reply Score: 0

not really spun off
by fran on Mon 30th Apr 2012 16:32 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

Barnes and Noble still keep a 82.4% stake in the new formed company and Microsoft 17.6%
The press release says spun off, but a majority share subsidiary is really part of the parent company so the Nook business is not really spun off.
Google, Amazon and Apple got into ebooks and publishing.
For Microsoft this is a master stroke.
It is very difficult to get book publishers onboard. With this partnership Microsoft won't have that difficulties.

Edited 2012-04-30 16:33 UTC

Reply Score: 5

v "mafia practices"?
by MollyC on Mon 30th Apr 2012 19:01 UTC
RE: "mafia practices"?
by Valhalla on Mon 30th Apr 2012 20:30 UTC in reply to ""mafia practices"?"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Good grief.
God forbid any company protect its patents.

Oh please stop with this song and dance number. Back in the day Microsoft apologists said 'yes, we agree that software patents are really bad, but Microsoft is just filing patents as protection'.

Now that Microsoft is using patents offensively just like those 'awful patent trolls which attacked Microsoft' you are singing a new tune, that of how 'software patents are now really good and that a company must be allowed to protect their investments'.

Software patents are crap in theory, and they are even worse in practice as they are granted no matter how ridiculously obvious they are to anyone skilled in the particular field.

The forefront patent in Microsoft's trolling has been the long filename patent which they sued TomTom for and which was part of their patent case against B&N.

It's a very obvious patent to anyone skilled in programming and it was recently revealed that Linus Torvalds had prior art on Microsofts filing by three years.

That Microsoft can run around and sue people over such a pathetic patent is all evidence needed of just how bad the software patent system is.

And the only reason we are even using FAT today is due to the monopoly enforced ubiquity of that filesystem, not due to any technical merits whatsoever.

Reply Score: 9

RE: "mafia practices"?
by lemur2 on Tue 1st May 2012 01:01 UTC in reply to ""mafia practices"?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Good grief.
God forbid any company protect its patents.


"any company protect its bogus patents" ... there, I fixed it for you.

B&N had already managed to get most of the Microsoft patents thrown out, invalidated or withdrawn by Microsoft in the Microsoft vs B&N case. Linux simply does not infringe any of Microsoft's valid patents. Linux and Windows are fundamentally different technologies, so Linux does not use Windows methods of doing things.

This is a good move from Microsoft (well, perhaps a little transparent and reeking of desperation) in its quest to continue to pretend that Linux (allegedly) infringes on Microsoft IP.

Microsoft should give up this farce IMO. It not only gives Microsoft very bad PR, but it makes them look both desperate and fraudulent.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: "mafia practices"?
by dsmogor on Wed 2nd May 2012 09:04 UTC in reply to "RE: "mafia practices"?"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

>> It not only gives Microsoft very bad PR,
Except for royalities that top ones from their WP7...

Reply Score: 3

RE: "mafia practices"?
by dsmogor on Wed 2nd May 2012 09:24 UTC in reply to ""mafia practices"?"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

You (unintentionally) hit the nail! They are protecting their patents (by not disclosing them) so that they can continue blackmailing companies that are poorly legally entrenched in the US. Why, because their *IP rights* standing behind those patents doesn't exist. Seing how US govt. looks through fingers at these practices starts to resemble how Russian govt. treats Gazprom.

Reply Score: 3

Would that I'd bought B&N stock on Friday.
by MollyC on Mon 30th Apr 2012 22:33 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

B&N stock is up 60% on the day, from $13 to $22.

Reply Score: 2