I'm having the same reaction I had when AOL bought Time Warner: "Huh?"
This is one of those business deals that just baffles me. Okay, B&N needs money, so they made some kind of deal with Microsoft.
But what does Microsoft get out of it, and why do they want whatever "it" is? It's almost as if they were passing by a yard sale, saw something shiny, and bought it on a whim. Now they're stuck with it.
I could be entirely wrong, of course. Maybe Something Wonderful will happen.