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Barnes & Noble axes Nook hardware staff as losses mount


Nook we hardly knew you.

Barnes and Noble (BKS) is popping on a report from Business Insider that the book-sellers have laid off everyone in their Nook division.

Related: 5 Big Retailers That’ll Be Gone in 5 Years

The Nook, of course, is the tiny little piece of hardware that competed with Kindle and iPad—although it turns out it didn’t compete very well.

Another interesting implication of this is that Microsoft (MSFT) in April 2012 invested $300 million in Barnes and Noble valuing the Nook division at $1.7 billion. In addition, Microsoft committed $180 million over three years in guaranteed revenue share and $25 million a year for international expansion, again all for the Nook, which no longer exists.

Related: Boardroom Thriller! Is Barnes & Noble Killing the Nook to Save the Stores?

It’s not clear what this means for Barnes and Noble over the long term since the company is basically worthless without those payments. It’s also unclear what this means for Microsoft, but Barnes and Noble is popping on the idea that getting out of this largely worthless hardware division is good news. It’s also good news for Amazon (AMZN), of course, and iPad to a lesser extent-- but then again they weren’t really competition anyway.

Related: Barnes & Noble: The Final Chapter?

For now, Barnes and Noble is reduced to a bunch of brick and mortar retailers. We’ll see how that works out for them over the long term.

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