For a long while, it looked as if Microsoft and Barnes & Noble would become more than just firm friends. The pair had been entangled in a similar partnership that the software giant had with Nokia, throwing $300 million to support the ailing bookseller. Back then, the idea was that B&N would create reading apps for Microsoft's devices while, presumably, Microsoft gained an ally that could stand up to Amazon in the e-book market. Since B&N is now planning to spin-off Nook Media, which uses Samsung hardware for its e-readers, there's little need for Microsoft's further involvement.The company's latest earnings release also show that Barnes & Noble is suffering in the profit stakes, raking in around $46 million less this quarter than in the same period last year. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the bookseller will pay Microsoft $120 million to buy back its stake in the Nook business, and that once the deal is done, Nook Media is likely to become a separate entity by August 2015.
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