Today, Barnes & Noble announced two new, affordable tablets — the Nook HD and HD+. The tablets are based on Google’s Android operating system, but the company is also planning to be front and center on a whole other group of tablets hitting next month — ones that run Microsoft’s Windows 8.
In April, Barnes & Noble and Microsoft announced a new partnership, with Microsoft taking a $300 million investment for a 17.6 percent equity stake in the company. The fruits of that will start to be visible with a new reading app designed specifically for Windows 8, which will launch in two weeks, Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch told ABC News.
“The most visible and first thing they [consumers] are going to see is a best in class reading application on Windows 8. 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,” Lynch said.
While the app will launch in the next couple of weeks, Windows 8 tablets and computers won’t actually be available for purchase until Oct. 26th to the general public.
Lynch implied, however, that the partnership will go further than the app. “We are talking to them about a lot things. I talk to Steve [Ballmer] from time to time about things we might want to do together. We are the leaders in reading technology and rendering. We obviously have this huge corpus of content. So we are talking about how we can take the great Windows 8 experience and add value to it.”
When asked if Barnes & Noble would consider making a Windows 8 tablet, Lynch said, “We have nothing to announce today.” He added, “Increasingly our company is being viewed for doing some innovative things in hardware and it hasn’t gone unrecognized.”