Barnes and Noble's flagship. (flickr.com/edenpictures)
Yesterday Barnes & Noble announced a splashy Microsoft partnership, complete with major cash infusion. Today, Fortune has a Q&A with CEO William Lynch, speculating on how the bookseller can leverage NFC technologies. Whatever its eventual fate, this company seems damned determined that if there's an obituary involved, it willnotread like those of Borders.
Asked what the Nook business could've done better, Mr. Lynch suggested the company still has a lot of opportunity in "offline-online integration" and that if they had more time, he would "try to figure out how to unlock cool experiences." His perfect example?
We're going to start embedding NFC chips into our Nooks. We can work with the publishers so they would ship a copy of each hardcover with an NFC chip embedded with all the editorial reviews they can get on BN.com. And if you had your Nook, you can walk up to any of our pictures, any our aisles, any of our bestseller lists, and just touch the book, and get information on that physical book on your Nook and have some frictionless purchase experience.
He wouldn't commit to any particular timing, however.
You know what they say: There's no fervor like the converted.