It may be possible for a Windows-powered e-reader to be released into the market in the future following the recent partnership between Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS). Speculations on the possible release of a Windows-powered e-reader have emerged following the patent settlement and the partnership between the two companies. Hints of a possible e-reader powered by the Windows OS of Microsoft have emerged recently.
Reports have indicated that the two companies were supposedly working on a deal where Microsoft would produce the device while the bookstore will be provided by Barnes & Noble.
However this did not push through following the effort to develop the Microsoft Courier tablet although the concept of a Windows-powered e-reader remained. According to Kevin Turner, COO of Microsoft, an e-reader has been considered as one of the devices that will feature the Metro interface of Microsoft.
Andy Lees, the president of Microsoft, revealed that a number of designs, capabilities and price points are being considered by the company. This was in response to a possible Windows-powered e-reader resulting from the partnership of the two companies.
William Lynch of Barnes & Noble also indicated that Microsoft intends to use the Windows OS on ARM processors. Although the Windows OS that runs on the ARM architecture was not dubbed as Windows 8, it is basically the same OS which is more specialized therefore making it practical for a device like a possible Windows-powered e-reader.
A Windows-powered e-reader may also be possible with the licensing of an embedded version of Windows to allow Barnes & Noble use the OS on an e-reader. This will do away with the patent royalty payment for every device that will be sold by the company. Another hint at a possible Windows-powered e-reader was the positioning of Windows as significant feature in reading according to Lees as he indicated that the company may be a factor in the creation, reading and interaction with stories among consumers.
The possible release of a Windows-powered e-reader remains uncertain although if it will be released into the market, it will likely offer more functions than an ordinary e-reader.
Since the partnership between the two companies is not exclusive it Barnes & Noble may not be the only back end store provider for a possible Windows-powered e-reader although Amazon is already considered as a competitor by Microsoft.