B&N clearly could introduce a MicroSoft based reading device, but it would be a massive mistake. Why would B&N let the 17.6% tail wag the dog? If they don't do this, then the deal sounds like a good one for B&N.
It would be a mistake because the hardware for such a device has to be more expensive that for the comparable Android based model. This is because MS has severely limited the choices of what SoC's to use for a MS tablet (no matter what flavor of the O/S it runs). On top of that, Android is free (particularly since B&N does not pay a MicroSoft patent tax) and B&N already knows how to build on top of Android. A MS device would take longer to develop, would be more expensive, and might require paying MS an explicit cut of the selling price.
To be clear, a Metro (say) tablet might be competitive with a top of the line Android tablet, but at the price points that B&N has traditionally worked within this is impossible.
Last edited by wallcraft; 04-30-2012 at 08:13 PM.