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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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October 2016
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Is Microsoft About to Reveal their Kindle Fire Killer?

A few days ago word went out that Microsoft is holding a June 18th gathering that will involve a major announcement of some sort.  Shortly after that there was a leak of inside information that indicates this will be Microsoft’s first computer hardware offering.  As early as tomorrow we may have some details about an upcoming Windows 8 tablet developed and manufactured by Microsoft itself.  The big question now is what market they are shooting for.  It might make sense for this to be a big push against the Kindle Fire.

Consider the situation that Microsoft has gotten itself into.  They are trying to take over the tablet market from Apple while still maintaining dominance in the PC market.  They are doing this by supporting everything in an attempt to create consistent experience.  Tablets, PCs, video game consoles, phones, everything will have Metro on it sooner of later.  Unfortunately this includes supporting multiple architectures, which has made the company split their project.

Windows RT is what they are calling the branch of Windows 8 that runs on ARM devices and it might be in trouble.  While Microsoft is trying to create consistency, none of the applications that run on Windows RT will run on the rest of Windows 8, nor will the reverse be possible.  This means that they can’t necessarily count on the hordes of existing Windows software developers to jump on board.

The reason this matters to Kindle Fire fans is mostly that this would be a great time for Microsoft to demonstrate how a well designed product running their software can perform.  They’re already going to be pulling in a lot of people with touch interface experience for their app store.

The segment that is willing to concentrate specifically on tablet customers to the exclusion of desktops will likely be Android and iOS developers.  As a result we might see something that can do everything the Kindle Fire can, with a similar integration into a large existing media ecosystem, running an admittedly better tuned OS.  Amazon might end up with problems.

Pretty much only one thing makes this somewhat questionable.  Microsoft has not shown any particular interest in going into the budget tablet market.  They actually seem to want to disregard Android devices entirely and head straight for the top to knock down the iPad.  Reports indicate that OEMs working on ARM tablets will be charged $85 per device just for the operating system.  You can’t do that and compete with the Kindle Fire on price.

We will know more tomorrow afternoon.  This could be big news, and explain a lot about Microsoft’s interest in the Nook line, or it could turn out to have no effect at all on Kindle customers.  If not, it seems that there is nobody else on the verge of taking off until the anticipated Google Nexus tablet is finally finished.  To be totally honest, a Kindle Fire vs Windows 8 tablet competition would be a much bigger thing to worry about.

Amazon Kindle Faces Big Trouble as Microsoft Backs Nook Line

Barnes & Noble has finally begun to spin off their Nook brand into its own subsidiary company and Microsoft has jumped at the opportunity to be a major part of that effort.  According to an announcement released jointly this Monday, the software giant will be investing $300 Million into the Nook business thereby acquiring 17.6% equity stake.  This could be bad news for Amazon’s Kindle line, which is already facing some of its toughest competition to date in the realm of eReading thanks to the new Nook Simple Touch w/ GlowLight.

Making things even more pleasant for B&N, this arrangement will also involve the settlement of Microsoft’s ongoing patent litigation the bookseller over certain aspects of the Nook’s design.  Microsoft will now be picking up royalties for all Nook products, but in the end this may result in significant savings compared to the cost of legal defense.  Whether or not that is the case, and admittedly I’m not a lawyer so it is purely speculative, this partnership will open up some major new opportunities for advancing the Nook.

In the immediate future we can expect a Nook app for Windows 8.  This will be an important development for both companies as Microsoft is betting big on the potential for tablets using their new OS while Barnes & Noble will need to be ready for the next major push in operating systems.  The nature of the Metro UI that Windows 8 (and its ARM compatible offshoot Windows RT) uses will actually create an even better reading experience than existing Windows reading apps if done right.

More long-term, Microsoft has already alluded to an interest in using Windows 8 to gain a foothold in the eReader market.  While this was mostly an offhanded remark at a recent event, and could therefore have been meant as a subtle emphasis on how adaptable their new operating system is, buying into as big a player in eReading as the Barnes & Noble Nook line is a fair indication that something more serious is going on.

In the face of this, Amazon has to be wondering what to do next with the Kindle line.  While the Kindle Fire is coming out on top of every other Android tablet on the market today, their Android fork might not quite compare to a properly configured Windows 8 installation powering the next Nook Tablet.  Nothing stops Amazon from following suit and licensing the new OS themselves, of course, but this would likely lose them the ability to completely control the user experience enjoyed under the existing system.  Microsoft will certainly allow locked-down version of their software to circulate, but fragmenting the Metro UI is not going to happen.

This might end up being the first step in a major Android vs Windows 8 fight.  The Kindle Fire holds the majority of non-iPad tablet users, but if a new Nook offered superior hardware and an operating system that shines when compared to Android without increasing the price significantly then the tables could turn.  Amazon still has their content distribution and the tight integration that gives them the edge, but the next Kindle Fire might need to be especially impressive to keep consumer interest going.