Windows 8.1 Nook app could be discontinued in favor of Microsoft eReader app

Microsoft may have invested $300 million in a joint venture with Barnes and Noble in an attempt to spin off its Nook business, but now it looks like the two companies are drifting apart. A new filing by Barnes and Noble with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows that it will likely discontinue the Nook Windows 8.1 app that launched in November 2012.

The exact words of the 8-K filing stated:

The Amendment also provided that subject to certain conditions NOOK Media would be permitted to discontinue distributing the NOOK Windows app and will cooperate in good faith with Microsoft to transition users to the Microsoft Consumer Reader.

This would strongly suggest that the rumors about Microsoft working on its own reading app are true. A few weeks ago, a job listing was spotted for someone to work at the company to help develop a "groundbreaking interactive reading app on Windows, which incorporates books, magazines, and comics." The SEC filing hints that when this "Microsoft Consumer Reader" app is released, it could have some Nook co-branding.

The really bad news is that this amendment says Barnes and Noble may not release a Nook app for the Windows Phone platform. Presumably Microsoft's unannounced reading app will be released for that OS as well.

Source: SEC via ZDNet | Image via Barnes and Noble

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If they (Microsoft) develop a E-Book app that compares to iBooks I will switch tablet platforms. That is the only thing keeping me from selling my iPad Mini and buying a Nokia 2520 or one of the 8 inch windows tablets with pen support.

I sure hope that's not the final name because Microsoft Consumer Reader sounds really dumb and they already killed off Microsoft Reader once.

B&N probably doesn't want to invest in the development, so they are outsourcing it. Probably not a huge surprise since Nook is in a bad place, as of late. When they will probably make it with the new SDK, so it will probably work on wp.

B&N doesn't have the money - they are, right now, trying to avoid going from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 (which Borders already has).

That's fine as long as I can read my nook books with MS Reader (I assume this is true).

Been waiting since WP7 days for a Nook windows phone app, so I'm fine if Microsoft takes over and gets the damn job done.

What!!! No!! B&N App is one of my favorite app. It has all my guitar mags on there.

I had a Nook long before I had a tablet. When my Nook went T.U. on me I purchased an Android Tablet so I could use the App.

Nook as a stand-alone app wasn't doing it for MS. Hopefully this first party app can compete with the competitors.

It is time Microsoft provides some sort of standardized publications reader for its ecosystem.

Competition (Apple) is riding alone in this segment and the lack of offering in the Windows (Modern) ecosystem is slowing down its progression.

Can't be too soon.

TheCyberKnight said,
It is time Microsoft provides some sort of standardized publications reader for its ecosystem.

Competition (Apple) is riding alone in this segment and the lack of offering in the Windows (Modern) ecosystem is slowing down its progression.

Can't be too soon.


I'll got for that. Certainly, I'd rather buy from B&N than Amazon, but if they don't make it easy for me, how can I?

That's a good point. If B&N stops selling ebooks, and the Sony store is closed, where are we going to get epubs from? I hate mobi.

No - iBooks ALSO gets it wrong. While iBooks comes as standard fare on all iOS devices (and on OS X, starting with Mavericks), it still has issues with the MOBI format that it is supposed to be compatible with. The real issue is it is STILL a format hodgepodge - there are four (and only four) accepted e-text formats. PDF (Adobe) the original (and copyright-encumbered) Portable Document Format, the unencumbered Open Document Format (ODF), the likewise-unencumbered EPUB format, and Amazon's own MOBI format (which Apple's iBooks uses a subset of). The end result is that my Mavericks drive has three DESKTOP e-readers - iBooks (Apple's format) Preview (for ODF and PDF) and either Calibre for OS X (yes - it does exist) or Kindle for OS X (like Calibre, Kindle for OS X supports both Amazon and Apple iBook variants of MOBI - however, unlike Calibre, Kindle for OS X, like its Win32 counterpart, support WhisperSync to any Kindle associated with the application). Why the hate on MOBI? If you are worried about the proprietary nature of it, don't - there are plenty of FOSS (and even free) conversion programs that either swallow OR spit out MOBI formats - in fact, Calibre itself will. (Further, I have not heard of Amazon whacking any of the hundreds of MOBI-format self-publishers - from which I have gotten the vast majority of my own MOBI collection.)

I just feel EPUB is a better format all around. If you think MOBI is better you're entitled to that opinion. I think EPUB is better structured, and it certainly doesn't hurt that you can find a reader for it on just about any modern device or OS. I also think it makes a better base to convert from in Calibre, assuming you need to convert it to another format for some reason.

Darrian - the impetus behind EPUB was to fend off understandable concerns from the fact that MOBI is patented by, and owned by, Amazon. However, unlike PDF, Amazon has done exactly nit as far as enforcing its copyrights and patents in terms of MOBI - basically turning an expected firestorm (as was indeed the case with PDF) into a tempest-in-a-teaSPOON.

It does not matter why it was made. The two formats are not identical. I like epub better. Epub is much more widely supported. I really don't understand why it is important to you that I like mobi. I don't care for Amazon's reader if I don't have to use it, and I don't see a bunch of mobi readers out there. Looking for a format that most closely mimics a printed book and that I will probably still be able to read on some manner of device in 30 years, epub is clearly the way to go. If that turns out to be false I can always convert my library to another format.

Dot Matrix said,
Never cared for the Nook app. Always preferred Amazon's.

Amazons app is a joke though, and they haven't upgraded it either, same for the WP version iirc.

The Nook app is great, but what I'd really love to see is a Readmill app. They seem focused solely on Android and iOS at the moment though.

And even Amazon's e-reader app for ModernUI biteth (which I have, in fact, taken Amazon to task for) compared merely to the desktop app (which still works in Windows 8+) specifically because it lacks what I would think would be a basic feature - WhisperSync support to any Kindle e-reader.