Barnes & Noble, Microsoft partnership for NOOK Media LLC complete

'Imminent launch' expected for Windows 8 NOOK application

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Nook maker Barnes & Noble and Microsoft announced the completion of their previously announced "strategic partnership" for NOOK Media LLC on Thursday.

Touted as a "leader in the emerging digital reading and digital education markets," NOOK Media LLC will operate as a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, but the partnership promises to serve the interests of its parent company as well as Microsoft.

"As demand for digital content continues to increase, we are focused on bringing ground-breaking reading and learning content and technologies to more people in more formats than ever before, including the imminent launch of our exceptional NOOK reading application for Windows 8," explained William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble, in a press release.

"Imminent launch" likely refers to the Oct. 25 release of Microsoft's newest desktop and tablet-centric operating system, which should also include the upcoming Windows Phone 8 platform for smartphones.

Equity stake for Redmond

While Barnes & Noble would seem to have the most to gain from NOOK Media LLC, Microsoft's investment of $300 million is intended to bolster its upcoming Windows 8 platform.

"NOOK Media is a leader in developing the next generation of digital reading and we look forward to the company bringing one of the world's largest digital libraries to Windows 8 devices via their upcoming Windows 8 app," added Microsoft President Andy Lees.

"We are also excited by NOOK Media's product roadmap and expansion into markets around the world as demonstrated by their recent launches in the United Kingdom."

For its investment in NOOK Media LLC, Microsoft will receive a post-money valuation of $1.7 billion in exchange for approximately 17.6 percent equity stake in the subsidiary.

Via BusinessWire