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Microsoft’s New Tablet to Have a B&N Connection? (New Zune & Other WAGs)

The blogosphere is all abuzz tonight with new juicy rumors being spread by TechCrunch.

According to their sources, tomorrow’s tablet news is going to come from both Microsoft and their new partner, B&N. It is going to be a tablet, but current rumors suggest that it might not be anything related to Windows RT, like I reported on this morning.

TechCrunch’s sources aren’t saying much, but they do claim that this tablet is going to be a sales platform for content. To be more exact:

We’re being told that a tablet/ereader built in conjunction with Barnes & Noble is on tap and that it will be entertainment driven.

This could be that ereader MS has been wanting to do, and it could also be the entire reason Microsoft got into the partnership with B&N. While I don’t see this new device as an ereader, Microsoft and B&N might. And if you take the Nook Color as their idea of an ereader, this prediction makes some sense.

In the NookColor/Nook Tablet B&N has taken an Android tablet and locked it down. Users (I’m not calling them owners) are limited to buying content from B&N (apps and ebooks) or from B&N’s approved sources (Netflix, Pandora, and more). This model isn’t too far from the game console business model, and that kind of control might appeal to Microsoft.

If the TechCrunch rumor is correct, we could be looking at a 7″ Zune. And I’m not kidding.

Okay, I don’t really expect them to call it a Zune (that name is cursed) but it would follow along a similar model. The Zune was an entertainment driven device and Microsoft did sell content for it.  If I’m correct then I’m going to predict that this won’t run Windows RT; no, I expect it to run Windows Phone 7 so it can take advantage of the marketplace Microsoft has been building as well as the existing content store. Of course, that last bit is dependent on the new Zune launching soon. If the device gets delayed then we could see it run Windows RT after all.

P.S. If anyone wants to leak info to me, please do.

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Simon June 18, 2012 um 12:17 am

This is actually great news for writers and readers.

It actually gives us 4 potentially viable "ecosystems" for ebooks (and other content):

1) Amazon

2) Apple

3) Kobo/Rakuten

4) Microsoft/B&N.

They all have a shot of taking part of the market, which will mean lots of competition.

Compared to the stagnation of the greater web locked down by a few players like Google or Facebook, things look good in the land of ebooks. It’s amazing that an industry like publishing should be the basis of such dynamism

Mike Cane June 18, 2012 um 7:13 am

OK, thinking it might run Windows Phone is the weirdest thing I have heard yet. I am patient and can wait a few hours for the announcement. There’s been enough frenzy over this as it is.

fjtorres June 18, 2012 um 7:49 am

You need to get out more. 😉
A WP7-based webpad/reader is actually a natural (me too) idea.
Especially compared to some of the "reports" floating around about tonight’s annnouncement:

A cooperative computing tablet/desktop combo? Based on IBM power tech?
Not. A. Chance.
But you gotta give’em credit for sheer chutzpah. 😀

Nate Hoffelder June 18, 2012 um 8:10 am

Yep. The WP7 based tablet builds on several different existing parts of MS and it offers what they probably wanted all along.

fjtorres June 18, 2012 um 12:13 pm

Plus it avoids channel conflict with the 10in-and-larger Win8 and RT tablets.
MS has always been good at market segmentation.

The Digital Reader – The Best News and Info on eReaders and Tablets June 18, 2012 um 11:11 am

[…] status but far above usual press buzz).Barnes & Noble added to the noise today with a denial of yesterday’s rumor. According to the business news site Benzinga, B&N won’t be involved with today’s […]

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