Five Microsoft/Barnes & Noble Partnerships That Will Happen Next
Microsoft shocked the world this week when it announced that it will pour $300 million into the Nook e-reader technology from Barnes & Noble.
The deal, which is being called a win for both corporations, quickly gained approval from analysts within the tech industry. "I think for Microsoft to succeed in the tablet space, they need some content and some e-reader capabilities and some digital content angle, which has been largely absent from their strategy," Herman Leung, an analyst with Susquehanna International Group, told Benzinga this week. "I think the Nook and the content library that's on the Nook is one way to combat that and offer an angle of [its] own."
If Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) needs content for Windows 8 tablets, and if Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) needs to grow the Nook business, then there are bound to be more partnerships announced in the coming months and years. But who will the bookseller team up with next? And which content providers will help Microsoft build a better tablet?
5. Microsoft and Netflix, Sitting in a Tree…
Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) needs hope; Microsoft needs video. Together, the two seem to be a match made in Heaven.
Granted, it would be next to impossible for Microsoft to acquire any sort of exclusive deal with Netflix since the video streaming and DVD rental company has already brought its app to several platforms, including those from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Sony (NYSE: SNE). Netflix also has several contracts in place that could legally prevent any form of Windows 8 exclusivity.
However, there's always room for fresh content (Microsoft and Netflix could team up and produce a TV series together), or exclusive deals on future films (Windows tablet users could gain access to a particular film or TV series a few weeks ahead of the full release).
4. Barnes & Noble Will Strengthen its Partnerships with Publishers
And unlike a certain highly-praised competitor, Barnes & Noble will do it legitimately -- and without deceptive price hikes.
3. Microsoft + Xbox Developers = iPad Gaming Killer
What's the best way to convince the world that tablet gaming is truly capable of meeting or beating the console gaming experience? By getting the world's best developers to create real games for your tablet.
Microsoft has spent years building relationships with the gaming community to produce a rich library of interactive content for its Xbox 360 platform. It is because of those relationships that the Xbox has become such a successful brand. Only in recent years has Microsoft been able to transform the console into a do-anything-you-want set-top box. During the first few years of its life, however, consumers purchased it for video games alone.
It's no secret that a large number of iPhone buyers were drawn to the device because of the App Store. And which apps do consumers want the most? Surprise, surprise: they want video games! Thus, if Microsoft used its Xbox development community to design a host of triple-A games for Windows 8 tablets, the company might actually be able to compete with the iPad.
2. Barnes & Noble Will Fill the Manufacturing Void
Now that Barnes & Noble has formed an alliance with the world's leading computer software company, there is just one thing the bookseller is missing: a strong manufacturing partner. Yes, the Nook is already a solid device. But if the company wants to go the distance and compete more effectively against the likes of Apple and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), it's going to need a more powerful associate in tech manufacturing.
1. Microsoft Joins Forces with Record Labels, Attempts the Best of Both Worlds
Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) lackluster (laughable?) music service could have been the perfect blend of iTunes and Spotify. It wasn't. In fact, there aren't any services that provide consumers with the ability to both stream and purchase an equally large library of music.
Granted, few mind using two services. And since Spotify and iTunes are the best at what they do, we don't really need another music service. But that won't stop Microsoft from trying to cash in on this market. While it has been a total loser for many companies, there is still a lot of money to be made from the music industry.
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