Will Barnes & Noble Launch a New eReader?

I heard that Barnes & Noble will hold a press conference and make an announcement May 24, 2011. The company is very hush-hush about the announcement. So, I looked around the Internet and found some information in regards to what will be announced.

Nook color (left) and Kindle (right)

Nook color (left) and Kindle (right)

I heard that Barnes & Noble will hold a press conference and make an announcement May 24, 2011. The company is very hush-hush about the announcement. So, I looked around the Internet and found some information in regards to what will be announced.

First, Barnes & Noble revealed in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing that the company will announce a new eReader device.

“In a meeting with investor analysts on May 4, 2011, Barnes & Noble … indicated it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011 regarding the launch of a new eReader device,” the notice said.

The book store company didn’t offer any more details about what the updated eReader might involve. The last major upgrade was in November when the Nook bumped up to Nook Color.

In late April, Barnes & Noble delivered a major software update to the Nook Color. The upgraded included an app store, an email client, and the ability to play Flash video and enhanced books. Plus, it added support for Android 2.2 “Froyo” and Adobe Flash video.

Of course, we are curious about what the company is going to do with the Nook, but we will have to wait until May 24th to find out.  And how will it compare against its rivals? Will it be cheaper? Just last month, Amazon introduced a cheaper, ad-supported version of its Kindle eReader.

Something more to consider is that Microsoft sued Barnes & Noble last month for patent infringement related to the Nook. Microsoft owns patents relating to navigation and how Web sites display content, referring to the technology used on the Android platform. Microsoft has tried to come to a licensing agreement with Barnes & Noble regarding its Nook and Nook Color eReaders. But, they have not come to terms with the patents yet.

All in all, it will be interesting to see what is introduced at the Barnes & Noble’s press conference next week. Based on the filing, we know it is an eReader, but what exactly does that that mean?