That article lost any credibility with me when it claimed the original Kindle Fire shut down B&N's plans to sell the Nook Tablet for $349. B&N opened the market for the cheap Android tablet with the Nook Color. Prior to the Nook Color, Android tablets were trying to get iPad-level prices and Jeff Bezos was sneering at the idea of color ereaders.
One point I find kind of interesting is the universal attack on B&N creating their own walled-garden app store. The first tablets could only get apps from the Nook store. Only later did they open it up to Google Play.
My wife bought a Kindle Fire a few months ago and guess what. You can only get your apps from Amazon. (Though I understand there are ways to get around it, you have to work at it.)
Yes because for certain types of people, everything B&N does is bad but everything Amazon does is good even when they do the same thing.
Personally, I thought the walled garden was a bad move but the whining somewhat irritated me as it seemed people wanted the much cheaper and higher quality Nook product but didn't want the restrictions that went along with it. It's a shame B&N has essentially ceded the market as they really drove innovation in both design and pricing (even today, the "outdated" Nook HD runs circles around much of the competition in terms of display quality, weight, and ease of use) but they made their own mistakes.
the problem wasn't the walled garden, in principle, it was the execution. there were no gardeners in evidence, and getting a plant introduced to the collection was comically hard.
Apps could break for months with neither the devs nor bn any the wiser. when paid apps used heavily in advertising the platform can die after an update and forum users here have to cajole the bn gardeners to go find out why the orchids have died, there is something very wrong.
New York publishing snobbery is a terrible model to use with software developers, who were discouraged from applying, then ignored completely once their applications for admission were received.
amazon had some hurdles in their dev enrollment early on, but remedied them at light speed compared with bn at least as far as getting folks included. I don't know who bn saw as its peer with the LCD nooks, but Amazon was looking at apple. I'm afraid bn thought it was a special and peerless snowflake, or perhaps looked to Samsung - which also had an abysmal app store and an abysmal bookstore but always supported Google's app store as well.
if that reading is accurate, maybe bn thought "we have a solid bookstore, and our app store's no worse than the competition" - not understanding that Google made up for the failure of Sammie's rather odd attempt at software sales.
@roustabout - You beat me to the punch, and quite articulately, I might add!
RE: "Personally, I thought the walled garden was a bad move but the whining somewhat irritated me as it seemed people wanted the much cheaper and higher quality Nook product but didn't want the restrictions that went along with it. "
Some of us obtained "the much cheaper and higher quality Nook product" when it didn't yet have "the restrictions that [later] went along with it." That combination made the NT extremely appealing. When BN later locked the NT's OS into a walled prison garden, without warning and after the fact (to prevent the installation and updating of third-party apps), the company greatly reduced the NT's appeal and competitive advantage, and left us earlier users with a tangibly different product from the one we had bargained for. Given those facts, and roustabouts apt description of that garden, I think the displeasure customers expressed about that unsavory move of BN's was valid and well-founded Though it fell on deaf ears (as so much customer and critical feedback to BN does, underscoring BN's lack of customer focus and strategic tone deafness), I think it's unfair to characterize it as "whining".
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Just to be clear, my comments were written primarily with the app store and dev enrollment process of the Nook Color in mind. And I was thinking solely in the context of the stock, unrooted devices.
I have a nook tablet and my partner uses it to this day. It runs the BN operating system with Google Play installed and although BN made a change to the NT 2 months after launch which made app installs harder, it did not make them impossible by any means. I hope that anyone who bought the device solely for that ease of modding returned it within the return window, which was open to them due to the timing of the launch, the holiday return season and the update.
But the change in policy led to a multiway cultural collision.
Quite a bit of the ire around the NT was driven by folks from XDA and the real concern for them was not that installing apps was made harder, but that the boot process was locked and had been at launch. The Nook Color boot process was unlocked, making rooting it or booting from an SD card trivial - once the research was done. The XDA folks looked at the spec on the Nook Tablet and expected it to be as open as the Nook Color and Nook Touch devices had been. When it was not, they were disappointed. At the time, there was a "free the bootloader" campaign going on; Android device makers were being lobbied across the board to stop using locked bootloaders. BN had been assumed to be in the peace and love and unlocked bootloader camp because of the Nook Color.
I think no one at BN had anything to do with the unlocked bootloader of the Nook Color or with an actual decision about locking the boot process. I think that in each instance BN went to manufacturers and asked for a tablet with decent spec and desired form factor, and in the case of the Nook Tablet, that it be Netflix certified. They were offered choices, and the Nook Tablet design had a locked boot loader.
When software (rather than boot) modification was made harder, some were outraged. And some went to work.
So hereabouts, we had Nook owners who'd been reporting a variety of issues with the device for months and rarely, if ever, getting a response. We had new nook tab owners learning how unresponsive BN could be. And we had XDA folks ginning up resentment and hoping to get the boot process unlocked, claiming they wanted to develop for the device.
The only concrete offer of development from that crowd was an app that would let people pirate Netflix, which I'm sure made BN want to work extra hard to collaborate with XDA. I think that the only real result of that was the incredibly annoying Nook HD behavior which reset the device if it became aware that it had been modded.
Fortunately, the folks who went to work got their research done and within a few months those who wanted to mod the device could continue to do so.
When you start out marketing yourself as different to Amazon and attract customers because you are different from Amazon then you should not be too surprised that when you become like Amazon people feel that legal as your actions may be you have still violated the implicit trust they put in you.....