Yesterday a reader tipped me about some strange goings-on at Barnes and Noble that is leaving people wondering what direction B&N is headed with their reading apps.
For some reason unknown Barnes and Noble has taken down the Nook for PC and Nook for Mac ereading programs from their website. The only program that remains from the download page for accessing Nook books from a computer is the Windows 8 PC app. That’s a very perplexing move considering how few people use Windows 8.
Perhaps B&N is thinking that everyone who wants to access their Nook books from a computer should use “Nook for web” that works with web browsers, including Internet Explorer 9+, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. But the problem with that is you can’t save books for offline reading or even make a backup. Nook for web also doesn’t work on older web browsers. The biggest problem, though, is the fact that a lot of Nook books aren’t available for reading online. About a third of my Nook books are unavailable through Nook for web.
According to reports over at B&N’s Nook forum, B&N customer service isn’t giving any reasons for the removal of the Nook for PC and Mac programs. They are telling people to download the Nook Study program instead. The problem with that is B&N doesn’t even bother to mention Nook Study from the Nook reading apps page. It’s located in a different section entirely under textbooks. Customers are expected to go and track it down themselves, apparently. Here’s the link to Nook Study if you want to download it. There’s a version for Windows and Mac.
However, Nook Study may not be supported for much longer either. B&N recently removed both of the Nook Study forum boards and placed them in the archives.
Whatever is going on at B&N, they aren’t being very open and transparent about it. Suddenly removing programs and making it more difficult for people to access Nook books from a computer is a good way to send customers in another direction entirely. I doubt very many people actually use the Nook programs to read on a computer, but taking it away is going to turn people off if they think they can’t easily have offline backups of their purchased ebooks.
Perhaps B&N is just updating their programs or website and the removal of the Nook for computer apps is just temporary. After all, the download links for Nook for PC and Nook for Mac still work if you know how to find them. The download links are located below but I don’t know how long they will remain active.
(Thanks for the tip, Doug!)