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Barnes & Noble & Microsoft

May 11, 2012

This is old news, now, but I thought I’d share it.  I was waiting to post this until I had a few more links to share in e-book news… but after this, things quieted down a bit in the news.  So… here you go:

My own thoughts?  On one hand, it’s good, because it gives Barnes & Noble extra clout, and levels the playing field.  So, that’s a good thing.

BUT!

But I fear this may mean that the Nook abandons Android in favor of the new Windows 8 platform in the future.

And Windows 8?

It is TEH UGLY!

I mean, I am viscerally turned off by Microsoft’s “Metro” interface.  And I have the same reaction against the current version of Windows Phone.  It’s ugly, blocky, and bland.  And the idea of taking a slick, polished interface like you can get with Android and ripping it out and replacing it with the blocky and ugly Windows Phone or Windows 8 interface makes me very sad.  I had thought that when I eventually succumbed to the inevitable and got an e-reader I’d likely go with a Nook… but now I’m not sure… We’ll just have to see what happens.

What do you think?  Good or bad?  Would you want a Nook with a Metro interface, or would it drive you to never read an ebook again?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2012 2:48 pm

    I wouldn’t worry about that. For one thing, e-readers and tablets are very different beasts. E-ink readers run Android or Linux, but it really doesn’t matter. The interface is designed to enable reading books (and magazines, etc.) and not much else. Whatever is under the hood, the e-reader interface will look like an e-reader.

    Tablets like the Kindle Fire or the Nook Color and Nook Tablet do run Android, but in each case it’s heavily customized away from the default Android interface. I had a Fire for two miserable weeks, and I now have a Nook Color which I use every day, and both run Android, but the interface of the Nook is (thank goodness) very different from the Fire, and (I gather) both are different from what you’d get with a regular Android device. So, if the Nook is switched over to running on Windows 8 at some point, I doubt if it will resemble the regular “Metro” interface very much.

    Oh, and my two cents is that if you want to read e-books, get an e-reader (rather than a tablet). As I say, they’re designed for only one thing, but they do that one thing really well. Plus: lighter, cheaper, much longer battery life, and easier on the eyes.

    • May 11, 2012 3:01 pm

      Good points. But so far I haven’t seen any implementation of Windows Phone or Windows 8 that isn’t ugly. As for the e-reader vs. tablet… I’d generally agree with you, but a lot of the tech news I read suggests that dedicated ereaders are a dying breed… and will largely be replaced by multi-purpose tablets or similar devices within another 5-10 years… Sure, a lot tech prognostications turn our wrong, but I’m not confident it won’t happen that way.

      • May 12, 2012 12:14 am

        I know. Sigh. I console myself with the thought that making tech predictions five or ten years out is a mug’s game. Who would have predicted 2012 in 2002, tech-wise?

        Well, if it does go that way, you could get a Kindle tablet instead. Maybe the next one will be better. :-)

      • May 15, 2012 8:12 am

        Indeed. On the plus side, given the possible trend of disentangling ebooks from DRM, it’s likely we may reach the point where it doesn’t matter which reader one gets…

      • May 15, 2012 2:34 pm

        Last fall I read a couple of articles which said that Amaon was looking to shift the Kindle over to using the EPUB file format that everybody else uses. Apparently the cost of developing and maintaining a separate proprietary file format is considerable. If they do this (and I haven’t read anything about it recently) it would knock down one barrier between the Kindle and the rest of the e-book world (and make things easier for publishers, I assume).

      • May 16, 2012 1:07 pm

        Hmm. That would probably be a good thing, too. Easier on writers and readers alike.

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