Barnes & Noble outsources NOOK development, cloud management

Barnes & Noble outsources NOOK development, cloud management

It’s the end of an era.

In this

press release

Barnes & Noble announced that they are outsourcing “…cloud management and development support for NOOK software” to

Bahwan Cybertek (BCT)

a very experienced company in many countries and with major partnerships, including with Oracle and Microsoft.

As a result of this, B&N will be shutting down a couple of offices, in Santa Clara and Taiwan, at the end of this July.

This could  be a very good thing for NOOK owners…and by extension, a good thing for Kindle owners.

It was always a risk for Amazon to do hardware and software…and a bigger risk for Barnes & Noble. It’s just not their area of expertise…you know, like publishers trying to figure out how to price books for consumers. 😉

Amazon had muuuuuch bigger resources to bring in people with the expertise, and in other ways to find the resources.

Barnes & Noble just didn’t.

Turning over this work to BCT will conceivably mean a more mainstream, reliable approach. It’s possible it will be less innovative, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Yes, it means that the development will not be driven by a bibliocentric company…but tech companies do things all the time for other industries.

If, and I’m just speculating, it makes for a better NOOK line, that could drive Amazon to better Kindle/Fire products through competition.

My guess is that it might make the Amazon devices even more out of the box…while still needing to be competitively reliable.

We’ll see what happens.

By the way, to give a sense of scale, Barnes & Noble says

“In the first quarter of fiscal 2017, the company expects to record severance charges and transition related costs of approximately $6 million.”

I think Amazon sneezes six million dollars. 😉

Overall, I feel good about this. It seems to mean that NOOK users will not be hurt…that the platform won’t simply disappear, but will not only survive but thrive.

How does this affect the Barnes & Noble stores, and the NOOK Books?

Certainly, in the short run, it helps them. The NOOK has been a major anchor on the stores, and this cuts that ballast loose. It lets B&N concentrate on other things…like games and toys.

What do you think? Is this a good decision by B&N? What does BCT get out of it? Will this make a difference for Kindle/Fire owners? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


2 Responses to “Barnes & Noble outsources NOOK development, cloud management”

  1. Tom Semple Says:

    I don’t share your optimism about this. To me this means Nook is on life support. I don’t think we’ll be seeing a lot of innovation or a thriving business: that would take some investment, and more than just a mildly profitable business. And we’ll have to wait and see if the technology transfer goes smoothly and addresses some of the issues people have been having with the web site (will they restore ability to download .ePub files from library page?).

    Good for B&N shareholders, though.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      Well, we’ll see. 🙂 I’m not sure why they would put it on life support and not just shut it down, which is normal in a failing tech situation. It could be argued that they wouldn’t want the bad PR since they would continue as a retail company, but that hasn’t stopped many companies (used your Zune lately?). 😉

      However, if I err in any direction, it will be the optimistic one…so you could be right.

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