Now that B&N has their new Nook gadgetry out for all to see, it looks like they are going to turn their attention to their next set of devices.
Yesterday a friend tipped me to a couple new job postings for B&N. The jobs are located at the Nook facility in Palo Alto, Calif., and at least one is pretty clearly associated with new devices, not apps. That listing mentions the Nook hardware repeatedly, a detail which isn’t included in the job listings for app developers.
There’s little to indicate what the hardware will be, or what it will do, but it is clear that B&N is just beginning to build the team. B&N is looking for a “Director, Engineering Windows 8“, and that’s the only 1 of the 2 listings which mention Windows 8 as well as the Nook. The other new job listing looks to be aimed at someone to manage the app developers for Windows 8. Put the 2 together and they suggest that B&N is going to have the new guys build the teams.
What’s also interesting about the new job listings is that one confirms the rumored integration with MS software and services. The Director of Engineering is responsible for:
delivering on our contractual commitments on Windows 8 applications, Cloud , commerce , content integration with the Microsoft ecosystem and for defining and delivering on product strategy of Nook integration with Microsoft ecosystem including Windows, Office, Bing.
To be honest, this should come as no surprise, given that many bloggers jumped to this conclusion when the B&N/MS deal was announced back in April of this year. But it is still a surprise because Bill Lynch said this wasn’t going to happen. Of course, he did use the word “currently” when he made that statement back in May, so it is more than possible that this was always the next step.
While the current devices run Android, there is no reason that the next ones will also run the open source OS. And assuming B&N gets decent support from Microsoft, it might actually make sense to switch over to the newer OS.
So what do you think this means? I am half expecting the MetroNook, as some have nicknamed the Nook running Windows 8. I’ve been chatting this morning with some B&N store folks and one pointed out the lack of NookStudy integration into the Nook devices. While I don’t think the NookStudy will ever be ported to Android (too many development issues), it would not be difficult to port the app to the next version of Windows, and it could then run on the next Nook.