Microsoft Corp.

Barnes and Noble shares climb 20% following Microsoft rumours
May 9, 2013

Shares in America's biggest books retailer Barnes & Noble climbed nearly 20% yesterday after a report that Microsoft is considering an offer to acquire its Nook business - B&N's tablet and e-book business and a rival to Amazon's Kindle.

The technology website TechCrunch reported that Microsoft, which already owns 17% of Nook Media, was proposing a $1bn offer to buy Nook's digital assets.

Deanna Brown Joins Byliner as President
May 2, 2013

May 2, 2013—San Francisco—Byliner, the digital publisher and subscription reading service, today announced that Deanna Brown, former CEO of Federated Media, has joined Byliner as President. Brown brings her deep experience in digital media and publishing to the startup, which is the leading publisher in the fastest-growing segment of digital publishing.

Brown is an accomplished media executive with more than 20 years of experience, ranging from entrepreneur to Fortune 500 executive. As CEO of Federated Media, she doubled the company’s revenues and was responsible for building a network that reached 180 million unique visitors a month—outranking Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft. Prior to Federated, Brown was President of Scripps Networks Interactive, and held Vice President and General Manager titles at Yahoo and AOL. She was CEO and cofounder of Powerful Media/, which was acquired by Primedia, and CEO and founder of Gaming Industry News, which was acquired by Ziff Davis. In 1995, Brown cofounded CondéNet, the digital division of publisher Condé Nast.

Kindle iOS app enhanced for the blind and visually impaired
May 1, 2013

Amazon has enhanced its Kindle iOS app with new features of benefit to anyone but especially to those who are blind or visually impaired.

Released Wednesday, the latest version of the app supports Apple's VoiceOver technology, which reads aloud text that you've selected. More than 1.8 million books in the Kindle store are compatible with VoiceOver, according to Amazon. More than 900,000 of them are less than $4.99, while more than 1.5 million are less than $9.99.

With Bookselling in Deep Turmoil, Book Sales Are on the Rise
April 24, 2013

With all the upheaval in bookselling over the past decade -- the surge in online ordering, the multiple challenges faced by brick and mortar booksellers, and the squabbles over e-book pricing -- you would think the book industry was in crisis. But sales figures suggest otherwise. Increasingly, this churning appears to be an integral feature of a steady process of transformation in the digital age.

The Association of American Publishers released 2012 sales figures, showing a substantial increase in overall totals. Sorting out the numbers (there is additional data on the AAP website), the net gain was 7.4 percent over

Microsoft: Would They Really Want To Own Bookstores?
March 4, 2013

Barnes & Noble shares are showing impressive gains Monday following a fascinating article in Barron’s by my old colleague Andrew Bary speculating on the potential fate of the book retailer and its Nook ebook reader business.

As the piece notes, the company’s founder and chairman, Leonard Riggio, is interested in buying out the company’s retail operations. But Andrew thinks investors should take care not to let him pull a Michael Dell and try to buy back the company on the cheap.

Barnes & Noble Has $6.06 Million Loss as Nook Sales Slow
February 28, 2013

Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS)’s surprise loss during what’s usually its most profitable quarter was triggered by a 26 percent sales drop at Nook, the only segment that had been growing and is essential to aiding a shift to e-books.

The net loss of $6.06 million, which included $74 million in charges from plummeting demand for its newest Nook tablets, comes three days after founder and Chairman Leonard Riggio said he planned to offer to buy the bookstore chain’s retail assets. These results may speed up a sale …

Barnes & Noble Stores Seen Topping Market Value: Real M&A
February 26, 2013

For Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS) founder Leonard Riggio to take his bookstores private, he may need to write a check for more than the entire company’s market value.

Riggio said yesterday that he will offer to buy the retail stores and website of the New York-based company he started more than 40 years ago, leaving shareholders with Barnes & Noble’s college book and Nook e-reader businesses. The retail chain alone is worth about $1 billion, according to the average of four analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg…

Editorially: Building a writing tool that embraces the Web
February 15, 2013

It’s easy to think of writing as something that flows through a writer, an already-perfect string of words and phrases that simply needs to be put to paper or screen. There’s something romantic about a solitary writer channeling some paragon of creativity or another, able to have a masterpiece spring fully-formed out of his own efforts.

But writing is rarely a solitary activity. Drafts may begin as the writer’s personal project, but later revisions  often pass through an editor, a friend or colleague, or anyone willing to read something and deny the writer’s lunacy.

The Revolution Starts Now… Or Does It: Digital vs. Print "either/or" or "both/all"?
February 11, 2013

Steve Earle wrote: “The revolution starts now / when you rise above your fear / And tear the walls around you down / The revolution starts here.”

Thankfully, time has finally brought us companies (big and small) that are re-thinking traditional content distribution business models. They’ve done this based on shifting technologies, shifting culture, sinking economies, new demands, and have begun creating new approaches. There are many out there, I wanted to mention a few examples.

Amazon to give away tens of millions of dollars in virtual currency
February 6, 2013

Amazon has announced Amazon Coins, a virtual currency for use with its tablet, the Kindle Fire.

Scheduled to launch in May for US customers, the currency is being billed with an exchange rate of one Amazon Coin to one cent, although Paul Ryder, Vice President of Apps and Games for Amazon is also promising that the company will give customers tens of millions of dollars' worth of free Amazon Coins to promote the service.