The duo is pairing to create a new subsidiary, with Microsoft taking a 17.6% stake. Microsoft will invest an additional $305 million over the next five years.
The deal gives the tech giant a long-desired grip in the business of e-books and college textbooks, which are moving to electronic distribution.
Microsoft will highlight a Nook app later this year on its Windows 8-powered tablets. This will let it compete against Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad and Amazon.com Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AMZN) Kindle Fire.
"It's a good strategic deal," Sid Parakh, an analyst at fund firm McAdams Wright Ragen, told Reuters. "It gets Microsoft in the game for e-readers, and gives them access to a market that has been growing nicely and they've basically sat out of. It also makes Windows 8 a more compelling platform from an e-readers perspective."
Microsoft Moves To MobileMonday's deal is a new chapter for both companies, especially Microsoft.
Microsoft has been testing the waters of the e-book field but has yet to really get its feet wet. Since it launched e-book software in 2000, it has never been able to amass a significant library. In fact, this software will be shelved on Aug. 30.
"The shift to digital is putting the world's libraries and newsstands in the palm of every person's hand, and is the beginning of a journey that will impact how people read, interact with, and enjoy new forms of content," Microsoft President Andy Lees said in a statement.
Microsoft has been overhauling its approach to mobile, which has taken a back seat to Apple's iOS and Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android. This new deal may just take a bite out of Apple or have Google ogling.
The move could be a game changer for Windows 8, as well as the Nook.