Once upon a time - seems like a long time ago - there were two massive companies controlling their markets: Microsoft had a death-grip on computer operating systems, browsers and office/productivity software; Barnes & Noble led the bookselling industry with stores across country and by 2000 was the second-largest online bookseller in the United States. Today, both are struggling. MS never figured out social media and their stiff-arm tactics (within the industry and with users) enraged many - along with their products that were buggy, overpriced and constant targets of spam and viral attacks. Despite deep pockets, MS has been little more than an also-ran in today's mobile, online environment. BN hasn't the deep pockets to wage a serious challenge to Amazon. MS may have the money, but no serious products to wage battle for position in the marketplace.
Perhaps it was bound to happen, money meets a poorly-funded but competent challenger to Amazon's ebook throne - and Newco was born. Details on the collaboration are still being roughed-out, but I was able to get what information is now available for a news blog on Information Today's NewsBreaks. The blog entry is "Barnes & Noble and Microsoft Form 'Newco'--A New Chapter for Ebooks" and you might want to give it a read.
Can Microsoft regain its footing and successfully move into this arena? MS was perhaps the most important proponent of electronic books in the CD-ROM era - can they recapture their mojo here? Will an infusion of much needed capital help Barnes & Noble and their Nook product take on the current champ?
The ebooks story continues to unfold.