While Barnes & Noble has taken a lot of criticism over the past year for its handling of its declining Nook business, it can’t be criticized for not pivoting quickly when it says it will.
Just a day after announcing that it would be discontinuing its Nook tablet business, Barnes & Noble already has three new initiatives to distribute its content through third-party tablets — its new stated strategy.
Today, Barnes & Noble announced an updated Nook app for Windows 8, the new platform from Microsoft, which runs on new PCs and tablets, notably the Surface. Two days ago, it also announced deals with E FUN and Fuhu, two tablet manufacturers, to have its app pre-loaded on the Nextbook and nabi devices, respectively.
According to Barnes & Noble in a statement (below), the updated Windows 8 app has a new user interface, faster performance and several new features, including annotations and a dictionary. The news once again dangles the proposition that Microsoft, the largest investor in Nook outside of Barnes & Noble with roughly a 17% stake, would deepen its relationship with the ailing bookseller. Now that Barnes & Noble is seeking to develop co-branded tablets, it’s already been speculated that it could do so with Microsoft.
Microsoft and its Surface tablet may not be Nook’s partner of choice, however. Despite an expensive and glitzy marketing campaign, Microsoft only managed to ship 900,000 Surface tablets to retailers and buyers last holiday season with sales estimated to be potentially far lower — even fewer than Nook. By comparison, Apple sold 22.9 million iPads in the quarter.
Barnes & Noble Introduces Updated NOOK® App v1.5 for Windows 8: New User Interface, Faster Performance and New Features Including Sideloading, Annotations, Dictionary and Find in Books
New NOOK for Windows 8 Customers Will Receive 50% off a Select List of Bestselling NOOK Books™ and Magazines for a Limited Time
NOOK Media LLC, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, today announced an updated NOOK App for Windows 8 with a new user interface, faster performance and the most requested features including highlighting, annotations, dictionary lookup, find in books, improved shop and search functionality, and the ability to sideload ePub and PDF files from their local drives. Users can now search for content in their library or the shop by simply starting to type, which will initiate the search charm.
With the new v1.5 NOOK App for Windows 8, customers will also receive 50% off a select list of bestselling NOOK Books and magazine issues for a limited time. Top book titles include Outliers: The Story of Success, Freakonomics, Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America’s Kings of Beer, The Hit and Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, as well as top magazines including National Geographic, Us Weekly, Rolling Stone, Men’s Health and WIRED. To find and download these great titles, NOOK for Windows 8 users can simply scroll to “Shop Popular Lists” in the app to take advantage of these great prices.
“NOOK is the highest-rated reading and digital bookstore app for Windows 8 and we’ve added even more great features that were requested by our customers,” said Jamie Iannone, President of Digital Products at NOOK Media LLC. “With the NOOK App for Windows 8, customers get an incredible reading experience and can choose from over 3 million NOOK Books, including 1 million free titles, as well as magazines, newspapers and comics on any Windows 8 device.”
The NOOK App for Windows 8 enables customers to sign in and shop using their Microsoft account, dramatically simplifying the reading and shopping experience. The NOOK App for Windows 8 provides customers easy access to NOOK’s vast selection of digital books, magazines, newspapers and comics on Windows 8.
A Growing and Diverse Digital Catalog and Other Innovative Features
The NOOK Store™ offers NOOK App for Windows 8 customers access to one of the world’s largest digital content collections featuring:
-More than 3 million books, including 1 million free books, from bestsellers to new releases, classics and more. Download in seconds, without ever leaving the app.
-The largest digital collection of the top 100 bestselling magazines available for digital subscriptions and single copy sale, plus a large selection of leading daily and weekly newspapers all available for immediate download.
-Sign in using your Microsoft account – no need to create a new account.
-A vast and growing collection of full-color comics, graphic novels and kids’ comics.
-Free samples of NOOK Books and 14-day free trial subscriptions of newspapers and magazines.
-ArticleView™ for magazines, which places an entire article on one page for easy reading.
-The ability to sync the last page read across NOOK devices and apps so you don’t lose your place.
-Adjustable fonts, spacing and themes for a customized reading experience.
-NOOK Channels™, a pioneering recommendation system that provides an easy way to discover new titles by theme.
The NOOK App for Windows 8 is now available to download for free in the Windows Store on all Windows 8 devices. Customers can learn more about NOOK for Windows 8 at www.nook.com/nookforwindows8.
About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) is a Fortune 500 company and the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products. The company operates 675 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s largest e-commerce sites, BN.com (www.bn.com). Its NOOK Media LLC subsidiary is a leader in the emerging digital reading and digital education markets. The NOOK digital business offers award-winning NOOK® products and an expansive collection of digital reading and entertainment content through the NOOK Store™ (www.nook.com), while Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC operates 686 bookstores serving over 4.6 million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States. Barnes & Noble is proud to be named a J.D. Power and Associated 2012 Customer Service Champion and is only one of 50 U.S. companies so named. Barnes & Noble.com is ranked the number one online retailer in customer satisfaction in the book, music and video category and a Top 10 online retailer overall in customer satisfaction according to ForeSee E-Retail Satisfaction Index (Spring Top 100 Edition).
General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company’s corporate website: www.barnesandnobleinc.com.
NOOK®, NOOK Store™, NOOK Video™, NOOK Video Apps™ are trademarks of Barnes & Noble, Inc. Other trademarks referenced in this release are the property of their respective owners.
Follow Barnes & Noble on Twitter (www.bn.com/twitter), Facebook (www.facebook.com/barnesandnoble) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/barnesandnoble).
About NOOK Media LLC
NOOK reading and entertainment products make it easy to read what you love, anywhere you like™ with a fun, easy-to-use and immersive digital reading experience. With NOOK, customers gain access to the expansive NOOK Store™ of more than 3 million digital books, plus periodicals, comics, apps, movies and TV shows, and the ability to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices through free NOOK Reading Apps™ and NOOK Video apps, available at www.nook.com/freenookapps. NOOK owners receive Always Free NOOK Support in any of Barnes & Noble’s nearly 700 bookstores. Find NOOK devices in Barnes & Noble stores and online at www.nook.com, as well as leading retailers including Best Buy, Walmart, Target and many others. NOOK products are available in the United Kingdom through www.nook.co.uk and leading retailers.