Typically, the holiday shopping season is huge for most physical and online retailers. Amazon for instance racked up strong sales for its Kindle digital readers and tablets during the holiday season of 2013. Things didn’t go as well for competitor Barnes & Noble and its Nook line of readers and tablets.
Barnes & Noble has offered its digital reader called the Nook for a while. The Nook has never had the popularity of the Kindle line of digital readers, but Nook devices have sold well. Barnes & Noble also makes several Nook apps to allow users of various mobile devices and computers to read digitally.
Here near the end of 2013 the comic adventure universe of Calvin & Hobbes has reached the digital realm at last, being presented as a set of ebooks for several platforms. While it's not entirely clear whether this is the doing of Bill Watterson himself or those that he'd battled for years over the rights to his own artwork, the results are in: three of the most over-produced treasury books of this century are now digital.
It was a bit over a year ago that Barnes and Noble introduced its Simple Touch with GlowLight ereader, something that has become old news as of today as the company announced the Nook GlowLight -- no Simple Touch to be found. This ereader is said to be a complete redesign on all fronts, bringing readers both hardware changes and updates to the system's interface, as well as more seamless page flipping.
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative has been operating for a number of years in an attempt to get every child in a developing nation their own laptop to help their education. Originally, the OLPC was exclusively delivering small notebook computers that were much like Netbooks of a few years ago. OLPC is now working with the XO Tablet and has announced that it has teamed up with Barnes & Noble.
Yesterday marked the official launch of Windows 8.1 as a downloadable product for users of the Windows operating system. Today the Windows 8.1 operating system will be available on DVD and on new computers and other products from retailers. The launch of Windows 8.1 has also brought with it a rash of updated applications specifically designed for Windows 8.1 operating system, such as the Facebook app from yesterday. Barnes & Noble has announced an updated Nook app for Windows 8.1.
It's only been a couple months since the last time Barnes & Noble cut the price of its Nook HD and HD+ tablets in the UK. Back in early July, prices on the tablets were reduced in an attempt to spur sales. Apparently, Barnes & Noble didn't get the sales boost it had hoped for with its new tablet prices and as of today prices have been reduced again.
Barnes & Noble has backtracked on plans to axe internal development of new NOOK tablets, promising continued R&D into both black & white and color models, with at least one new NOOK for the holiday 2013 season. The about-face, announced during B&N's dreary quarterly results, comes after the company said back in June that it intended to focus on e-paper models itself and license out the NOOK HD brand for tablet-style versions to third party manufacturers instead. Now, B&N's new CEO Michael Huseby claims, that strategy was "interpreted incorrectly."
Barnes & Noble has slashed the price of its NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight ereader, trimming the illuminated e-paper slate to under $100, and prompting speculation that a successor might be close at hand. The NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight is now $99 through B&N's official store, down from the $119 the company had been charging for almost a year.
Though the notification from the book company itself doesn't aim to be too much more than a "by the books" set of information, as it were, the resignation of Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch appears under the surface to be at least partially due to his involvement with spearheading NOOK. With the growth of the digital reading industry, eBooks, eReaders, and the like, Lynch's involvement in the environment - and NOOK's relative failure in the face of industry-swallowers like the iPad and Google's own initiatives with pushing books to their Android devices - all seems to have been a bit too much for the company's very recent leadership setup.