re: What Nook Could Buy Microsoft
The active user base is evidently 7 million or so users. That's a lot of people, but it's not all that clear what "active" means--e.g. how many books each person buys. So it's hard to say how easily Microsoft can leverage existing collections to push people toward Surface or Windows 8. The fact that Nook is currently on Android is another factor-- would these people switch if Microsoft tried to make Nook Windows-exclusive?
Based on the scant information out there, if Microsoft completes the purchase, I think it would make sense to keep Nook open to several platforms but to make it a premium experience on Windows. This could be accomplished through Surface hardware designed to be a great e-reader, extra software functions, ties to other parts of the Microsoft ecosystem, etc. If Microsoft could pitch Nook as the best, most cost-effective option for college textbooks, that would help too. There's definitely potential here, if Microsoft can execute.