I LIKE READING things on Kindle and on Nook, so word that Microsoft might actually buy Barnes & Noble's Nook business is good news to me.
Microsoft needs a reading ecosystem for Surface tablets. I'd buy a Windows 8 touchscreen device if it had a robust reading ecosystem attached. And the Nook ecosystem, with its book discovery and “scrapbooking” features, is quite strong. Plus Nook Media also has strong ebook publisher relationships that Microsoft might leverage too.
I don't think Microsoft would outmuscle Amazon in the e-reader market but having Nook embedded into a Microsoft Surface tablet will help sell more of that product to existing Windows users worldwide.
Bernie Goldbach teaches e-publishing at the Limerick School of Art and Design.