How Barnes & Noble Can Help Kill Itself

Yesterday: Today: I think so highly of the Barnes & Noble NookColor hardware that I’ve recommended it right after the iPad, to people who can root it and make it a full Android tablet. Barnes & Noble really has a winner there in that hardware. But they can kill that winner if they deliberately stop the ability to root the NookColor.

Right now, some people are experiencing their rooting being wiped out. Some are suspecting that B&N is silently pushing out a software update to thwart rooters.

That would be an absolutely fatal error.

Barnes & Noble has already defied the existing majority eBook industry by mutating Adobe DRM for its ePub “Nookbooks.” Clearly that was a decision based on greed and fear.

Greed, to lock-in Barnes & Noble customers to Barnes & Noble’s eBookstore. Fear, that they might miss a stray penny that fell to the ground in their vicinity.

Both of those moves does the overall cause of eBooks no damn good.

It’s their own mutant DRM that is stifling Barnes & Noble’s ambitions. Had they gone with “classic” Adobe DRM, they’d be sitting pretty as the undisputed second largest eBook store, right behind Amazon. Legions of Sony Reader buyers would have abandoned the rotten Sony Reader Store for Barnes & Noble. By being compliant, by not being fearful and greedy, they could have grown larger faster.

And the same thing holds true with the NookColor.

Leave it alone! Let people root it. You’ll sell more of them than you ever planned! And you just don’t know how many of those people will think so highly of the included NookColor eBook reading software that they’ll be led to your store to buy their eBooks (even though, again, I do not recommend that until Barnes & Noble drops their damned mutant DRM).

Give up your greed and give up your fear, Barnes & Noble.

reposted with permission from Mike Cane's Xblog

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