Barnes & Noble reported a loss of $39.2 million in the third quarter this year, as it continues its struggle to stay in the book business, rather than the toys and art supply business… or perhaps they really do want to just become a game store. What does this mean for authors? Focus on those Kindle sales!
Barnes & Noble, according to an article by goodereader.com, appears to be discouraging their Read-in-Store program, which allowed Nook owners to settle in for an hour and read a book for free inside the store. Is this another sign that they’ll be getting rid of the Nook altogether?
After offering amazing prices for the week before Father’s Day, Barnes & Noble has continued their sale, offering their eReaders and tablets at astoundingly low prices—it seems they must be taking a loss on them. Michael Kozlowski of goodereader.com suggests that perhaps they are trying to get out of the tablet market entirely.
There have been a number of articles about Adweek’s article which claimed that “the e-reader business is shrinking,” and I was going to post a link mocking it, but then I read this article, someone beat me to it.
An interesting story about how mindless, automated eBook conversion can seriously screw up a book. In this case, every time the word ‘kindle’ appeared in the book, it was replaced, in the Barnes & Noble version, with the word ‘nook.’ So rather than being kindled, lights were ‘nooked.’ Make sure you proofread your books—every single word—before publishing!
The US Government Printing Office has made an agreement with Barnes & Noble to sell approximately 30 federal eBooks on the bn.com site. The US GPO has over 200 eBooks available through other venues.
After (or as a part of) settling their lawsuit against Barnes & Noble, Microsoft will be investing $300 million (plus another $305 million in future investments) in a new subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, giving them a 17.6% equity stake in the company.
It makes me wonder if perhaps Microsoft decided that their patent-infringement claims weren’t so solid, after all. In any case, I’m hard-pressed to believe that anything good will come out of this for the consumer.
Microsoft has dropped one of the five claims it made against Barnes & Noble in its patent-infringement lawsuit.
In March of last year, Microsoft filed suit, alleging various infringements. The one just dropped dealt with the use of tab controls. Microsoft asserts that the claim was dropped to “streamline” the issues, and that it was not a concession on its part. Barnes & Noble, on the other hand, argued that tab controls simply were not patentable to begin with.
While I am not an attorney of any sort, much less a patent attorney, it seems to me that by dropping this issue, Microsoft has neatly avoided a ruling that Barnes & Noble’s declaration was, in fact, correct, thereby saving themselves the patent.
There are now only three claimed infringements remaining.
Amazon has acquired Marshall Cavendish’s 450 children’s book titles to compete with Barnes & Noble’s Nook Kids collection. The introduction of the Kindle Fire allows Amazon to compete effectively in this market, where they were unable to do so with the older black-and-white Kindles with limited graphics capability.
Microsoft has filed suit against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn International Holdings, and Inventec Corp., claiming infringement of the following:
- The use of tabs for navigation in a control window
- Showing download status superimposed on a page
- The ability to select text
- The ability to annotate text text without changing the underlying document.
- The display of page content before the background is displayed
Where does the patent office find the people who approve patents for these things? This is utterly ridiculous! Not only should Microsoft be ashamed of themselves for patenting things like this, U.S. citizens as a whole should be appalled that we’ve allowed things to reach this preposterous level.