Barnes & Noble’s Magical Nuclear Tour

February 14, 2013: Barnes & Noble Needs To Go Nuclear

March 25, 2013: The Market Barnes & Noble Ignores

Today, May 29, 2013: Leaked Memo Shows Barnes & Noble Bringing Web Browser And Email To Simple Touch eReaders In June

Having brought Google Play to their color tablets in a last-ditch and now too-late attempt at relevancy — and to not strand future orphaned owners — Nook Media is now going to reverse a prior cruel decision and bring back the web browser it earlier shut down on the Nook Touch.

Is anyone keeping score here? Who told Nook Media to do certain things that they are now doing?

Be that as it may — I won’t flatter myself into thinking that at any time in the past several years they’ve emerged from their self-referential shell to read my posts — can someone tell me what the hell they’re trying to do with the Nook Touch? Browsing? Email?

Let me remind everyone the Nook Touch is based on Android 2.1. Unless Nook Media plans to try to cram Android 4.x — with patches necessary for eInk — inside the Nook Touch, these additions seem a bit screwy to me.

What’s the pitch? “Now you can interrupt your reading to be aggravated by all the email you’ve tried to forget by reading?”

This is a half — actually half-assed — measure by Nook Media.

Unless they’re planning to also give people full access to root, these are nothing but self-congratulatory “See? We’re really trying!” moves by a desperate leadership. These additions will only make people feel the limitations of the Nook Touch even more keenly — especially among the general public who don’t know squat about rooting but can see for themselves just how frustrating web browsing and email can be with eInk.

Is it better than nothing? Well, most times something is better than nothing. But they frustrated Nook Touch owners from the beginning by shutting down the browser. Now they’re trying to play catch-up with the Kindle and trying to go one step further with email.

I don’t think this is going to help them at all. And I think these moves will bring a new wave of calls to customer service — which has been the heart of their problems. Their bad moves in limiting their software only compounded the interest on their once-future — and now present — doom.

Radio Shack did them a favor by selling the two Nook models for US$20 and US$30. Maybe they need to follow suit.


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