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Microsoft Wants Nook: TechCrunch

With Windows 8 in mind Microsoft bought 16.8% of the operation last year for $300 million

Microsoft wants to buy Nook Media LLC, the Barnes & Noble's digital and college books joint venture, for a billion dollars according to TechCrunch, which says it's got internal documents to prove it.

With Windows 8 in mind Microsoft bought 16.8% of the operation last year for $300 million plus another $180 million due sometime for Windows 8 content.

Apparently it now just wants the e-book piece as well as Nook's e-readers and tablets. That digital territory includes movies, TV, comics and apps.

TechCrunch says Nook Media means to discontinue its Microsoft-opposing Android-based tablet business by the end of its fiscal 2014 year and move Nook content through apps on "third-party partner" devices although it just signed a deal to get Google Play and the entire Google mobile stack - Gmail, Chrome, YouTube and Google Maps - onto the platform.

Nook also offers apps on mobile platforms that compete with Microsoft like Android and iOS.

The book store has been trying to dump Nook since at least February and TechCrunch says it's unclear if the third-party tablets it's talking about are Microsoft Windows 8 devices, competing tablets or both.

The company apparently doesn't mean to kill off Nook e-readers any time soon. They'll just be allowed to go the way of all flesh.

Ten million Nook widgets have reportedly been sold including tablets and e-readers and there are seven million active users.

The Nook app is currently available on every major platform, including Android, iOS and Windows.

The documents TechCrunch has seen values the operation at $1.66 billion, which will mean Microsoft's offer is below value although Nook is losing hundreds of millions of dollars, with its widgets selling at a discount at prices equivalent to Amazon's Fire HD Kindle.

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Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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