When Barnes & Noble shut down the UK Nook Store as well as the Nook App Store last month, we took it as a sign that B&N was going to kill off the Nook platform quickly. Now it seems B&N is going to let the Nook wither on the vine.
B&N announced on Thursday that it had inked a deal with Bahwan CyberTek, an Indian outsourcing firm, for BT to take over certain Nook tech services. To be more exact, B&N said that the firm would be responsible for cloud management, development support for Nook software, and other services.
“Over the last two years, the Company has done a significant amount of work to improve NOOK’s overall performance,” said Fred Argir, Chief Digital Officer at Barnes & Noble. “While we have been able to reduce costs, we still have a lot more work to do to rationalize the business. We believe that by outsourcing certain technology functions of our Nook business we will further improve Nook's performance.”
B&N also took the time to reaffirm its commitment to the Nook platform, and add that as a result of the deal it is closing both its Taiwan and Santa Clara, Calif. offices by July 2016.
The Nook platform, however, will remain open as B&N adopts benign neglect as its digital business model.
And yes, benign neglect is the best term for today's news; had B&N really been interested in rebuilding Nook then they would have invested capital rather than outsourcing key functions.
That's what Amazon would do; remember, Amazon has a habit of buying companies with tech it needs (Kiva Systems, Mobipocket, Liquavista, etc).
That B&N is choosing not to invest tells us all we need to know about their plans for the Nook platform.
Now would be a good time to get your ebooks out, if you can.
image by Kansas Poetry