Good Idea. It looks like Microsoft mojo is back !!! awesome !
Microsoft puts $300M in Barnes & Noble Nook subsidiary to create an e-reading titan
[reproduced from Venturebeat]
April 30, 2012 6:15 AM
How much is Microsoft afraid of Amazon and its surging Kindle business? Enough to invest $300 million in Barnes & Noble’s new Nook subsidiary.
The deal, announced today, will give Microsoft a significant stake in an established e-reading company, a market where it hasn’t yet made much of an impact. Barnes & Noble hasn’t yet decided on a name for the subsidiary, which will also include the company’s College business segment, but we expect it to harken back to the Nook brand somehow. Microsoft will own 17.6 percent of the new company, which is valued at $1.7 billion.
Notably, the company is valued significantly higher than B&N itself this morning, which now has a market cap of $823.4 million. Shares of B&N were up a whopping 85 percent in pre-market trading at the time of this post.
Not surprisingly, one of the first products from the deal will be a Nook application for Windows 8. That’s something B&N would have likely developed anyway, but with Microsoft’s banking it’ll be able to accelerate development and take advantage of the new tablet features of Windows 8.
The partnership also resolves an ongoing patent dispute between the two companies, according to today’s release: “Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have settled their patent litigation, and moving forward, Barnes & Noble and Newco will have a royalty-bearing license under Microsoft’s patents for its NOOK eReader and Tablet products. This paves the way for both companies to collaborate and reach a broader set of customers.”
The inclusion of B&N’s higher education business also gives Microsoft a gateway into that potentially lucrative market. The subsidiary will push forward B&N’s Nook Study software to deliver digital education goods — which could potentially remove the need for expensive textbooks.
At the moment, it appears this new subsidiary will remain under Barnes & Noble. But it’s not hard to see the pieces being put in place for a larger shift down the line, which could include spinning off the subsidiary entirely, and a potential purchase by Microsoft.
Well. It looks like Jean-Louis Gassée has an opinion, and I think I like it very much.
This is reproduced from Jean-Louis' Monday Note Newsletter.
Apple Is Doomed: The Phony Sony Parallel
by Jean-Louis Gassée
In the weeks preceding the April 24th release of Apple’s quarterly earnings, a number of old canards sent the stock down by about 12%: Carriers are going to kill the iPhone Golden Goose by cutting back “exorbitant” subsidies; iPhone sales are down from the previous quarter in the US; inexorable commoditization will soon bring down Apple’s unsustainably high Gross Margin.
The earnings were announced, another strong quarter recorded, and the stock rebounded 9% in one trading session:
At least one doubter is finally convinced: Henry “The iPhone Is Dead In the Water” Blodget has become an Apple cheerleader, penning a post titled Yes, You Should Be Astonished By Apple. (Based on Henry’s record, should we now worry about the new object of his veneration?)
There has never been a dearth of Apple doomsayers. The game has been going on for more than 30 years, and now we have a new contestant: George Colony, an eminent industry figure, the Founder and CEO of Forrester Research, a global conglomerate of technology and market research companies.
Mr. Colony, an influential iPad fan, maintains a well-written blog titled The Counterintuitive CEO in which he shares his thoughts on events such as the Davos Forum, trends in Web technology and usage, and, in a brief homage, his hope that “Steve’s lessons will bring about a better world”.
We now turn to his April 25th post, Apple = Sony.
There are two problems with the piece: The application of a turgid, 100-year old “typology of organizations” that’s hardly relevant to today’s business scene, and an amazingly wrong-headed view of Sony and its founder, Akio Morita.
Colony offers the banal prediction that others have been making for a very long time, well before Dear Leader’s demise: With Steve Jobs gone, Apple won’t be the same and, sooner or later, it will slide into mediocrity. It happened to Sony after Morita, it’ll happen to Apple.
In an act of Obfuscation Under The Color Of Authority, Colony digs up (nearly literally) sociologist Max Weber to bolster his contention. Weber died in 1920; the 1947 work that Colony refers to, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, is a translation-cum-scholarly commentary and adaptation of work that was published posthumously by Weber’s widow Marianne in 1921 and 1922.
From Weber’s work, Colony extracts the following typology of organizations:
1. Legal/bureaucratic (think IBM or the U.S. government),
2. Traditional (e.g., the Catholic Church)
3. Charismatic (run by special, magical individuals).
This is far too vague; these types are (lazily) descriptive, but they’re fraught with problematic examples, particularly in the third category: Murderous dictatorships and exploitative sects come to mind. What distinguishes these from Apple under Jobs? Moreover, how do these categories help us understand today’s global, time-zone spanning rhizome (lattice) organizations where power and information flow in ways that Weber couldn’t possibly have imagined a hundred years ago?
I have had this discussion before. Apple is one product failure away from (perceived) decline. I say (perceived) because with $110b cash on hand, there is room to fail. So what do you think ?
[reproduced from Forbes]
Apple=Sony: Brace For The Coming Post-Steve Jobs Decline
By George F. Colony
George F. Colony is Chairman and CEO of Forrester Research. Follow him on Twitter at @gcolony.
Apple will decline in the post Steve Jobs era.
Sociologist Max Weber created a typology of organizations in his 1947 book The Theory of Social and Economic Organization. He described three categories: 1) legal/bureaucratic (think IBM or the U.S. government), 2) Traditional (e.g., the Catholic church) and 3) Charismatic (run by special, magical individuals).
Charismatic organizations are headed by people with the “gift of grace” (charisma from the Greek). “He is set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities.” Followers and disciples have absolute trust in the leader, fed by that leader’s access to nearly magical powers. “Charismatic authority repudiates the past, and is in this sense a specifically revolutionary force.”
What's interesting is all the buzz over the week-end talking about TV viewership sharply increasing on iPad recently. So is nimble tv going to suceed where everybody else has failed ? The argument for broadcast (DVB-H, Flo, CMMB, ISDB-T) was that streaming (especially video) could not scale ..... With home broadband service caps coming, is Dyle a better alternative ?
[Reproduced from NY Times]
Start-Up Aims to Stream Pay TV Onto Web Devices
A start-up, NimbleTV, is introducing a way to move a whole subscription’s worth of television onto the Web, with or without the subscription company’s permission, reports Brian Stelter in Monday’s New York Times. It’s the latest example of how technology companies are trying to break into the closed system of television distribution in the United States.
The service takes the package of television channels that a customer buys through a distributor like Dish Network, then streams the package onto the Web, allowing the customer more options for viewing than most distributors now allow. It also allows for thousands of hours of TV recording on a virtual digital video recorder.
NimbleTV is a response to the many television viewers who have voiced some variation of the same complaint: Why can’t I watch any show on any device at any time?The company’s test phase, which begins Monday, is limited to New York City and to a set of 26 channels that the company will pay for. It plans to start letting people sign up for satellite service through its software this summer.
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