Microsoft and Barnes & Noble: Two main players in a defensive alliance?

Whereas Apple is in the digital reading space with iBooks on their devices and earning money on the book selling front as well as the hardware device front there is Amazon doing the same with the ebooks being sold on to the Kindle device and software. Yesterday a competitor to Apple and a competitor to Amazon and Apple have joined forces in a new announcement. Microsoft and Barnes & Noble announced the completion of their strategic partnership in NOOK Media LLC. This recently formed Barnes & Noble subsidiary is presented in the press release as a leader in the emerging digital reading and digital education markets.


In the subsidiary Microsoft will own a 17,6% stake while Barnes and Noble will own the remaining shares. The companies will work on bringing the Barnes & Noble reading and learning content to the Microsoft Windows 8 platform.


The partnership comes to me as quite a defensive partnership driven by the success of the Kindle and iBooks together and not by a visonary innovative approach by either Microsoft or Barnes & Noble. Also defensive alliances can be successful, we just have to wait and observe.