Did Amazon kill Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet? Or did Barnes & Noble’s inept leadership? The eBook Reader blog opines the latter, and it’s hard to disagree with them. (A Nook tablet post-mortem from Engadget overlaps and, in hitting some of the same points, largely agrees.)

Not only did B&N not support Google Play, they actually patched a loophole that allowed Nook tablet owners to sideload Android applications. Turning Android into a walled garden always seemed like it was missing the entire point of the operating system to me. Sure, B&N could claim they were trying to “curate” their user experience, but in locking out the biggest source of Android applications, they were killing off the biggest reason to use Android in the first place.

Now, of course, B&N is looking at spinning off the Nook side of the business into its own separate company. The one thing I can’t figure out is, if they do that, which arm will have the better chance of outlasting the other. Doesn’t seem like either one would be long for this world.


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