Should Barnes & Noble leave Android to make a Windows 8 Nook tablet?


Rumors of a new tablet from Barnes & Noble are starting to circle the internet, with an announcement said to come by late September. This is no surprise, as we are getting close to a year since the NOOK Tablet’s release. Speculations seem to favor the probability of this new tablet being a Windows 8 device, though, which is much more shocking.

Microsoft and Barnes & Noble have been getting very cozy since the first-mentioned company decided to invest $605 million to step into the e-reader and college business. After the fact, it would not surprise us one bit if something like this took place.

Barnes & Noble has been a relatively important player in the Android ecosystem since the release of the NOOK Color. The book retailer more recently released the NOOK Tablet, which competed directly with the original Kindle Fire. But the 7-inch Android tablet market is getting fierce – could switching the whole focus of their devices be Barnes & Noble’s best bet?

We now have devices like the Nexus 7 competing with other affordable tablets. Odds are Apple will also be launching that rumored iPad Mini. With these on the table, even Amazon and its new Kindle Fire HD tablets are seeing a bit of a rough road ahead.

Arguably, Barnes and Noble could be making a smart move by shifting their focus and aiming to a whole other audience in order to compete. The rumored NOOK device would be released around October, meaning there would be very few other Windows 8 competitors. Most probably with higher prices, making this affordable device stand out.

We have taken Android to a whole new level, where it is much harder for any smaller company to compete. We have grown as Android enthusiasts, and so have our demands. This leaves Barnes & Noble with very few options; this tablet could be dirt cheap or it could be substantially superior to the competition. Both options being very hard to accomplish.

As an Android fan, it would be sad to see any company leave the platform, but can we blame them? After all, these businesses have to look out for their interest and the continuation of their brands. Especially for a business like Barnes & Noble, which has been suffering with the hit physical book purchases have taken. The company is simply not in a position to risk too much.

Remember, though, nothing is official just yet. We will have to wait until an announcement to say for sure. This is simply a topic that could be interesting to bring to the table and discuss with our readers. And it doesn’t only relate to Barnes & Noble, many companies are finding themselves in equally challenging situations lately. The larger Android manufacturers have simply become too strong.

Without further ado, we would like to see what you guys think of this. Would you be upset if Barnes & Noble switched sides? Am I simply crazy and you think the company still has much room to expand in this market?

[Via: Digital Trends]

Edgar Cervantes

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  1. There is literally no way this would happen. Between paying license fees and the lack of customization at an OS level there is simply no feasible way for them to make a low-budget tablet without Android.

  2. Why leave Android. Why not make both?

  3. if nothings broken don’t fix it, they don’t want to end up like Nokia making top of the line products that aren’t going to sell well lol

  4. MS doesn’t allow altering of UI or removable of the MS store in Windows 8 by OEMS. So no way Barnes and Noble will be willing to compete against MS on their own tablet.

    1. And Windows 8 UI needs a LOT of customization just to look good.

  5. I would say if they want to make a tablet that is largely ignored then this would be the perfect way to go about it.

  6. What Barnes & Noble do to the Nook Tablet is to let it run stock Android. Making it a multimedia device without constraints like custom interfaces or the fact that it must only be for that specific interest.

  7. It will cost more, you have to pay for a licence to use Microsoft Windows.

    1. A lot of you seem to be missing the fact Microsoft threw money at Barnes & Noble. Due to the investment, they may get Windows RT free.

  8. Since the Windows 7 interface is much smoother on slower hardware, it makes sense that they can build the tablets for less and get better performance. If they can come up with their own UI that matches their current one, why not?

    1. Or the can just update their software to 4.1 and problem solved

    2. Why not? Because it is A LOT of work to make another UI for a different OS — one from a company that doesn’t share well (DOS is not done till Lotus won’t run…) — and an OS that has an unproven track record. Windows Tile 8 may do well, but no one knows. iOS and android are here as known factors.

  9. As a nook app developer I would think this would be a bad idea there’s no way I am going to rewrite my apps for windows8.

    1. Sorry to inform you, but there will be way more Windows 8 developers than Nook developers.

  10. I think it’s a great idea lets android is in lawsuit hell. MS has a perfectly good lawsuit free (relatively speaking) touch interface. Why not..

  11. I honestly think it would be beneficial for Barnes & Noble to launch a 7″ Windows RT tablet. No one has shown off a 7″ Windows RT tablet yet to my knowledge, so they’re already starting off with a unique product. Plus, considering they don’t use Google Play and have a relatively weak app market, it only makes sense to jump on board with Microsoft after the investment.

    If they do stick with Android, expect it to further distance itself from core Android, maybe even taking on a Metro look. I’d also expect Bing for search and Bing or Nokia maps. Honestly, Barnes & Noble going to Windows would be good. More competition is better for the market and simply encourages Google to up their game.

  12. window 8 will be rocking…..

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