Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Why You Should Buy Barnes & Noble -- and Maybe a Nook, Too

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Last week, Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS  ) made a seemingly small announcement that made a huge difference to its customers. The announcement was that the Nook will now allow access to the Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) Play store. What it really means is that the Nook is now an almost fully formed Android tablet. That's going to be huge for Barnes and Noble.

Read any Nook, Kindle, and Nexus comparison and you'll see something like this: "The problem with the Nook HD's locked-down operating system is that it does not enable installations of applications that are not downloaded from Barnes and Noble's marketplace/store." What you won't see is list of shortfalls in the technology itself. Engadget's review of the Nook HD+ stated, "From a hardware perspective... it's pretty tough to argue with a 1,920 x 1,280 display on a $269 / $299 device." The new expanded availability of Google Play may just push tablet buyers over the edge.

Why Barnes & Noble opened up
There is absolutely no surprise in hearing that tablets are on the rise. Recent reports have highlighted the fall in PC sales over the last year, and much of that market is shifting to tablets and smartphones. With Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) pushing its Windows 8 operating system, the world is quickly filling up with productive tablets, which could realistically offer a replacement for laptop owners.

Enter the Google Play store. Play offers Android owners a seemingly unending range of programs to run on their tablets, including productivity offerings from Microsoft. By opening up the entire store to Nook HD users, Barnes & Noble turned the tablet into a productive piece of hardware. That means that it can now compete on the same field as the Surface and the other Android tablets.

What it means for Barnes & Noble
That, in turn, is going to help Barnes & Noble get the Nook division firing on all cylinders before it spins it off into a new company. As I -- along with most investors -- have been harping on for a while now, the Nook spin-off is the best thing Barnes & Noble can do right now. Sales of the Nook dropped 26% in the company's last announced quarter, and investors promptly ran for the hills.

But now Barnes & Noble has unleashed the power of Google's storefront while simultaneously putting the Nook on sale for Mother's Day. The combination should hopefully jump-start the Nook sales machine, giving it the momentum it needs to regain the ground that it's been losing recently.

On top of the Google Play access, there's also the possibility that a future Nook could run Windows 8. New, smaller Windows machines have been announced recently, and Microsoft has already dropped $300 million into the Nook business, giving it plenty of reasons to work out new ways to sell more machines.

In short, the move to open up the Google Play store isn't just a good thing for current Nook HD owners, it's a sign for investors. Changes are ahead, and the Nook isn't going to sit on the sidelines while other tablets take all the sales and spotlight.

It's incredible to think just how much of our digital and technological lives are almost entirely shaped and molded by just a handful of companies. Find out "Who Will Win the War Between the 5 Biggest Tech Stocks?" in The Motley Fool's latest free report, which details the knock-down, drag-out battle being waged by the five kings of tech. Click here to keep reading.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2414077, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/29/2016 8:24:52 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 10 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,339.24 110.94 0.61%
S&P 500 2,171.37 11.44 0.53%
NASD 5,318.55 0.00 0.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/28/2016 4:02 PM
BKS $10.91 Up +0.03 +0.28%
Barnes and Noble CAPS Rating: *
GOOGL $810.06 Down -0.67 -0.08%
Alphabet (A shares… CAPS Rating: *****
MSFT $58.03 Up +0.08 +0.14%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ****