MSFT), which is always rumored to be interested in buying Barnes & Noble. Again, this is not a new idea. Let's remember that expectations also ran high last year when Microsoft invested $300 million in Barnes & Noble for what amounted to roughly an 18% stake in the Nook business. Although Barnes & Noble had plenty of use for the cash, it wasn't immediately clear what Microsoft was looking for in return. Fast-forward a year later: Not only has Microsoft failed to offer any rationale for its investment, but Barnes & Noble's future, particularly in the Nook business, is arguably worse off than when Microsoft stepped in.
Read: Apple Loses e-Book Trial Another thing: Doesn't it seem odd that after a full-year after Microsoft's investment that Nooks were still being powered by Google's ( GOOG) Android platform? Wouldn't it have made sense to have converted them to Windows? This fact introduces questions about whether Barnes & Noble and Microsoft ever had any real discussions about creating synergistic advantages.