Just yesterday we were lamenting the fact that Microsoft got behind the ball when it came to mobile devices. Apple and Google/Android took the lead with smartphones and tablets and left Windows in the dust.
Apparently Microsoft is trying to address that issue. Along with Windows 8 and the upcoming HP tablet (amongst others) that we were telling you about yesterday, Microsoft has something else up their sleeve. Content.
Apple has content, streaming movies, music, and e-books, available on their devices. Google has certainly gotten into the act with Google Music and Google Video. Amazon has taken their Kindles and Android-based Kindle Fire to new heights with e-books and music and videos.
But Microsoft doesn’t have an entertainment ‘ecosystem’, other than a small number of apps, available for the Windows OS, which left a big hole where a major profit center could be.
Looks they realized that and have gotten together with Barnes & Noble as a way to acquire content. Details of the deal are still rather fuzzy, but it looks like Microsoft is putting $300 million into a joint venture with B&N, which just happens to have a huge catalog of e-books. The deal will be a shot across the bow of Amazon. B&N has been competing with Amazon head-to-head with their Nook Tablet and Nook e-readers. But Amazon has come out way ahead by using their incredible marketing muscle.
Microsoft has some muscle too, relatively unflexed lately, and combining that with their Windows 8 OS and a catalog of e-books from B&N may kindle a bit of fire in itself. They will still need some streaming video and music content to really beef up their ecosystem. But maybe some further announcements about that will come down the pike before Window 8 launches, which is expected to be this fall.