This week has brought us the launch of a co-branded HP (NYSE:HPQ) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) eBook store. What does this bring to the market? Not a whole lot of new insight. The new site, accessible at http://hp.bn.com is basically a new black skin on the same old B&N website. Apparently, many new HP computers will be coming with a link to the B&N eBook store preloaded and may even have the reader software already installed and ready to go.
The most important thing to note here is that there seems to be absolutely nothing new happening. Maybe it is simply a branding move to help build the presence as eReader sales wars escalate, but you would expect something a bit more substantial from such a teaming up.
The store is the same. The software is the same. The selection is the same. The frequently referenced access to the LendMe technology is nothing more than the same old feature that the software already had. There is not even any effort made to specifically market it as an eBook store; there are still tabs for normal books and DVDs as on the B&N main site. This is all distinctly underwhelming. I suppose they had to come out with something new now that the Kindle has taken the feature lead back with their Collections organization system, but from my perspective this one fizzled.