The tie-up with Barnes & Noble makes three of a kind for Microsoft: cheap deals with struggling but established partners in markets where it is weak and sees a chance to do much better. In 2009 it struck an agreement with Yahoo! in online search. Last year Nokia became the prime conduit for Windows in smartphones. With Barnes & Noble it is having another stab at e-reading. Unlike the books on the Nook, this tale is still being written.
Yahoo! and Nokia, eh? auspicious.