Monday, 30 April 2012

If you can't beat them: Microsoft buying its way in to tablets?

 "(Reuters) - Microsoft Corp will invest $300 million in Barnes & Noble Inc's digital and college businesses, valuing them at $1.7 billion. Shares of Barnes & Noble jumped 79 percent. 
"Microsoft will get a 17.6 percent stake in the new unit, while Barnes & Noble will own about 82.4 percent, the companies said in a statement on Monday. 
"The business, whose name has not yet been decided, will have an ongoing relationship with Barnes & Noble's retail stores."

Microsoft's Nook Investment Totals $300 Million; Barnes & Noble's Weighing Spinoff Of Digital Business

So is Microsoft hedging its bets on tablets, getting in on the growing tablet/e-reader market via a partner.

It makes sense, but Microsoft has done a lot of these deals that make sense but don't seem to go anywhere.  The Nokia deal made sense, and in the last year I have seen 2 people on the entire planet (from China to America) using Windows Mobile on a Nokia device.
This graphic shows how the rise of Android and Apple has taken a big piece out of Microsoft's former ownership of the computing space.
The Facebook deal made sense, but it is hard to see how this got Microsoft anything.  Sure Microsoft allows you to connect Office and even Windows to Facebook but it is so annoying I was personally able to keep it going for maybe a day.

Microsoft has had the leverage to buy in to Web 2.0, tablet e-readers and mobile, but it has not had the internal skill to leverage this in to anything for Microsoft.

But its not all doom and gloom, as Microsoft start has set on the hand held and desktop it has grown on the back end. As Microsoft lost home user it has gained the Enterprise back end.

Looking specifically at SharePoint is a dramatic picture, in the Enterprise Content Management Space Microsoft has been going from strength to strength.