#Windows Phone: Building an App Culture and Ecosystem in Education and in E-Reading

All sorts of guessing and excitement about the new Microsoft investment in Barnes & Noble today. One thing is certain, Microsoft is all about the cloud and putting apps on devices.

From the press release:  

One of the first benefits for customers will be a NOOK application for Windows 8, which will extend the reach of Barnes & Noble’s digital bookstore by providing one of the world’s largest digital catalogues of e-Books, magazines and newspapers to hundreds of millions of Windows customers in the U.S. and internationally.

From the TechCrunch story, Microsoft Makes $300 Million Investment in Barnes and Noble....

This is also a progression — a very big one — of the funding etudes that Microsoft has been making to developers to make sure they are making apps for the Windows Phone platform, a way of getting more content on its platforms, which, it can be argued, may have come too late to the market. The first product to come out of the door? A Nook application for Windows 8, the companies say.

Venture Beat says it's a gateway into the lucrative higher education market

The inclusion of B&N’s higher education business also gives Microsoft a gateway into that potentially lucrative market. The subsidiary will push forward B&N’s Nook Study software to deliver digital education goods — which could potentially remove the need for expensive textbooks.

The Next Web focuses on the push to make a dent in the e-reader market against Amazon and the Kindle and Kindle Fire:

One of the first things that customers will be able to experience will be Barnes & Noble’s NOOK app for Windows 8 (Amazon has also built a Kindle app) that will push e-book, magazine and newspaper content to Windows customers.

The two companies will also push education incentives via Barnes & Noble’s College business, providing students and teachers will digital tools and content via Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Study software.

The Portable Future

The really simple way to look at it is that Windows Phones and then the future devices that will use the Windows 8 platform -- like the really hot looking tablets coming out -- are preludes to a future of portability. Developers now have an even bigger doorway through which to walk through their apps ideas.  

Microsoft is hosting, through BizSpark, a competition to build web and mobile apps for Windows Phones. You can do this at Seed Philly.  You can also, presumably, do this anywhere from now until June 3, when you take the 30 to Launch Azure Challenge, which gives you an opportunity to work with Microsoft Windows teams to put your business in the cloud with an app for the phone or the web. 

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