Although Barnes & Noble have finally announced a UK launch date for the Nook, there remain storm clouds on the horizon for the company. As Matt Townsend notes at Bloomberg today, investor confidence has slipped dramatically over the past three months, with particular concern mounting over the still vague tie-up with Microsoft.
Back when B&N and Microsoft announced they were teaming up for various projects, B&N’s stock shot up. But since then, there’s been precious little detail about what the two companies are up to. Microsoft obviously didn’t invest big bucks without having a plan, but the most obvious synergy – between Microsoft’s Surface tablet and B&N’s Nook – seems to have been side-stepped. So investors want to know how and when B&N’s ‘big deal’ is going to manifest.
Later this week, B&N releases more information about its earnings so far in 2012, and those figures will be keenly watched by those who fear that B&N is slipping behind. B&N is widely estimated to have around 25% of the US ebook market, which is pretty significant and shows that the company can take on the likes of Amazon. But that Microsoft deal was supposed to be important for the company’s future, and there’s been precious little news of late. A Nook app is expected to be featured prominently in the upcoming Windows 8, but most observers will be looking for something a little more innovative.