Microsoft's announcement on Monday that it was entering a partnership with bookseller Barnes & Noble has generated all sorts of speculation that a future version of Barnes & Noble's Nook tablet could be using Microsoft's Windows 8. In a new interview on the Fortune website, Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch stopped short of revealing such a plan, saying, "Nook, as you know, uses open sourcing. Microsoft is obviously very entrenched in Windows."
While a future Nook may not use Windows 8, that doesn't mean another Microsoft software product could be featured on the tablet in some way. Lynch hinted very strongly that Microsoft Office may be integrated into the Nook for authors and content creators. He states:
If you look at the content sort of flow from authoring tools, obviously, Microsoft is one of the leaders, if not the leader in authoring tools with Word, PowerPoint, Excel, their Office franchise, all the way through the transaction buying merchandising, sale or cloud management of the content. You can see us working across that. So again we haven't announced anything specifically, but imagine an integration where an information worker, student, author, consumer, creates something in Office and has it immediately published for sale through the Nook book store. It starts to open a lot of exciting possibilities.
Lynch also announced that future editions of the Nook would have NFC chips installed in the hardware. He said that would allow users to bring their Nook to a Barnes & Noble bookstore, " ... just touch the book, and get information on that physical book on your Nook and have some frictionless purchase experience."