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.