Today's surprise announcement of a partnership between Microsoft and bookseller Barnes & Noble on a future Nook spinoff business naturally generated speculation that any future Nook tablets and eReaders might have Microsoft's Windows 8 inside. During a Q&A session on an financial analyst conference call today, one of the analysts asked flat out if a Windows 8-based Nook tablet was in the works.
Unfortunately, the executives at the conference call were not that forthcoming, saying that they were not commenting on any future product roadmaps at this time. Microsoft president Andy Lees also said that the company has yet to do any teardowns of the Nook products to see if they could in fact run Windows 8. However, it was mentioned in the Q&A session that this new agreement naturally lends itself to more collaborative ventures, although no specifics were mentioned.
Currently, the Nook Tablet and the earlier Nook Color devices run under a modified version of Google's Android 2.3 OS. Before today, Barnes and Noble and Microsoft were actually involved in a lawsuit, with Microsoft claiming that the Nook Tablet and Nook Color were in violation of some of Microsoft's patents.
A cheap Windows 8-powered Nook tablet would certainly be a quick and easy way for Windows 8 to be introduced to the masses. Currently, the Android-powered Nook Color sells for just $169 while the Nook Tablet sells for either $199 or $249.
In related news, Barnes and Noble's stock price is surging on the news of the Microsoft partnership; it's currently up 64 percent as of this writing.