The following video is from Friday's installment of the Motley Fool's Weekly Tech Review, in which host Chris Hill and analysts Eric Bleeker and Jason Moser look at the biggest stories driving the tech sector this week.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) made a $300 million investment last year in Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), focusing primarily on the company's e-reader business. However, Microsoft's investment came at a time when there were already troubling signs for e-readers, such as how they would compete as tablet prices were being slashed. As an example, Apple has managed to take 20% of the e-book market without making iBooks a priority. Likewise, Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) has long been a more entrenched competitor and used the Kindle to head-off the Nook positioning itself as the more "tablet-y" of the companies operating from a strength in e-readers.
The end result is that Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader has been fading as more multi-purpose tablets have come to dominate this space. Nook posted a $262 million loss in fiscal 2012 and a $475 million loss in fiscal 2013. As of this week, the company announced it was getting out of Nook hardware, casting doubt over the future of Nook as a platform. While the Nook might not be Microsoft's biggest failed bet -- the company recently wrote down $6.2 billion in value from aQuantive -- it also seemed like one of Microsoft's more short-sighted moves that was devoid of a great strategic aim.
In the following video, Eric and Jason talk about Microsoft's investment in the Nook and the company's overall acquisition strategy headed forward.
The full video is available here.
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The relevant video segment can be found between 7:58 and 12:20.