When Barnes & Noble announced its new tablets – the NOOK HD+ and the NOOK HD – many Microsoft watchers immediately began wondering why the devices weren’t running a Windows operating system. Microsoft acquired a 17.6% stake in “Newco,” the company charged with managing Barnes & Noble’s NOOK business, at the end of April, so it was assumed that the two companies would begin to blend their technologies together on future hardware. That won’t be happening this year, since both of the new devices are running a modified version of Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich,” but a NOOK app will be arriving on Windows 8 in two weeks.
“The most visible and first thing [consumers] are going to see is a best in class reading application on Windows 8,” B&N CEO William Lynch informed ABC News. “Some of the things we are doing with our reading technology — the rendering of books, catalogs, magazines — we are going to bring that to Windows 8 form factors and the operating systems.”
The NOOK’s biggest competition, Amazon’s Kindle, has supported Windows 8 since the Windows Store launched alongside the Consumer Preview in late February. A NOOK app should be greatly appreciated by Barnes & Noble’s customers. But Lynch’s comments make it sound like the two companies have something else up their collective sleeves. It’ll be interesting to see where Microsoft and Barnes & Noble take their partnership in the future.[ABC News via Neowin]