Continuing its bold, brave and surprisingly successful ereader battle with Amazon, Barnes & Noble is soon to launch its fifth Nook device.
Over the weekend, the New York Times ran a long feature piece on the bookseller.
Tucked away, two-thirds of the way through, was a tantalising nod toward the company's future tech:
"At its labs in Silicon Valley last week, engineers were putting final touches on their fifth e-reading device, a product that executives said would be released sometime this spring."
Sadly, that's all we've got to go on. No word on whether it's dirt cheap, some type of iPad contender or something else entirely. We'll just have to wait and see what reliable tidbits work their way out of the rumour mill.
According to the New York Times, Barnes & Noble now hold a respectable 27 per cent of the ebook market, compared to at least 60 per cent for Amazon. Considering B&N were a little late to the game, that's an impressive achievement.
The fact that B&N are reinvesting so heavily is a sign they believe in the medium. Before long, we might even know them better for tech than tomes.
Elsewhere, the New York Times painted a wonderful picture of the offices in which the Nook is developed, a kind of literary version of Silicon Valley tech giants:
In one room, a virtual wallpaper of Nook Color devices hangs in rows neat as a checkerboard. A common area holds a foosball table and a cooler of VitaminWater. Some of the walls are made of silver-colored mesh. Some of the cubicles are lime green.
But there are also reminders of the old Barnes & Noble. Over here is a basket of actual books, including "Travels With Charley" and "The Little Prince." Over there on a wall are enormous vintage covers of books like "Of Mice and Men" and "The Great Gatsby."
If I didn't work from home, I'd want to work in an office like that. [New York Times]