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Barnes & Noble

Microsoft won't be in business with Barnes & Noble anymore. The bookseller announced today that it is acquiring the part of its Nook Media company that Microsoft had purchased over two years ago and added that the two companies "have agreed to terminate their commercial agreement including any associated obligations for international content acquisition and sale."

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Over at All Things Microsoft, Mary Jo Foley has laid out an interesting discussion linking Monday's secret Microsoft announcement, tablets and even Barnes & Noble.

First up is the tablet announcement. After the Hulu idea was shot down as was Windows Phone (we've confirmed that it's not a Windows Phone announcement, otherwise we'd be there) the rumors are now centering around an RT Tablet unveiling. Specifically a Microsoft-branded RT Tablet which is more or less the same core that Windows Phone 8 will be based off of.

The rumor comes from entertainment site The Wrap who reported:

"But an individual with knowledge of the company said that Microsoft would introduce a Microsoft-manufactured tablet at the event, marking a foray into a new hardware category that would put the company in direct competition with giant rival Apple."

Certainly a plausible idea though we won't really know until Monday as the event is very much under wraps. Should Microsoft be unveiling a branded RT tablet (RT is what powers Windows 8) it will surely make headlines for numerous reasons. Some have even speculated that Nokia would be behind such hardware but Microsoft would wear the name. We find that last bit a tad much but who knows. 

Back to Mary Jo Foley, she has suggested that the Microsoft/Barnes & Noble deal focuses heavily on Windows Phone, specifically Windows Phone 8. The information comes by way of a recent filing with the SEC on the deal which mentions "Windows Phone" 55 times in the document. That's odd only because the original agreement does not mention WP at all.

Foley then goes to suggest that 

  1. There may be a reader ala Kindle of some-type announced Monday
  2. It's based off of the Windows Phone OS, specifically Apollo

We've told you that there will be two HD resolutions for Windows Phone Apollo--720x1280 and 768x1280--both of which are very high resolutions even by today's standards for a smartphone (on a 4.5" screen, the PPI is higher than the iPhone 4S's 3.5" Retina Display). Because of that we could easily see a tablet/reader running at 768x1280 but the question is would Microsoft do that?

We're not so sure. We're confident that Monday's announcement is not anything Windows Phone related--that's from talking with Microsoft PR on the matter who would surely have us there if it were. Then again, if the OS is some hybrid of a desktop OS and the Windows Phone one (for telephony purposes) then perhaps Microsoft is pulling a quick one. A strategy by Microsoft to take on the reader market is surely plausible and the location, LA for entertainment, makes more sense.

Needless to say people's imaginations can run wild on this and we'd rather sit back and see what happens.

Source: The Wrap, All Things Microsoft

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