Microsoft and Barnes & Noble finalized their partnership today and gave it a name, Nook Media LLC.
The partnership, originally announced in April, is structured for now as a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary, consisting of the bookseller’s digital and college businesses. Microsoft holds a 17.6 percent equity stake in the subsidiary, through a $300 million investment, valuing Nook Media LLC at $1.7 billion overall.
The deal between the companies is notable in part because it aligns Microsoft with one of Amazon.com’s biggest rivals. Barnes & Noble and Microsoft say the first product of their partnership will be a Nook reading application for Windows 8, launching soon, according to Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch.
Beyond that, the companies aren’t being specific about what they’ll launch, although recent Barnes & Noble job postings point to a “product strategy of Nook integration with Microsoft ecosystem including Windows, Office, Bing.”
“As previously announced, there is no set timetable for Barnes & Noble’s review of strategic options for its investment in NOOK Media LLC,” the companies say in a news release. “There can be no assurance that the review will result in a strategic separation or the creation of a stand-alone public company. Barnes & Noble does not intend to comment further regarding the review unless and until a decision is made.”