In spite of that focus on reading, the company's opted for what it's deemed the "highest resolution on a 7-inch tablet," and certainly the 1,440 x 900, 243ppi display looks quite nice when you're watching one of those hi-res movies from the newly announced Nook Video. The graphics on the UI, however, aren't quite finalized and looked a bit choppy at times as we were scrolling through, something the company has promised to fix before launch. The same goes with the performance on this 1.3GHz OMAP 4470-packing device, so we'll have to hold off judgment until we get our hands on a final unit -- which shouldn't be long... The HD is running a customized UI on top of Ice Cream Sandwich. The theme here is "Paper," which, naturally, translates to simplicity. There's really not a lot going on when you load up the homepage, "focusing on the content itself," according to B&N. You've got a scroll wheel of fanned-out content on top and an open desktop onto which you can drop stuff for easy access. On the top is the "Your Nook Today" button, which brings you to a page featuring the current weather conditions and recommendations based on your recent activity. Along the bottom are buttons for Library, Apps, Web, Email and the newly-redesigned shop. The Nook HD is up for pre-order now. It'll start shipping in late October and will hit Barnes & Noble stores early the following month. It's available in "Snow" and "Smoke" colors and 8GB and 16GB varieties (both expandable via microSD slots), which are priced at a nice $199 and $229, respectively.
The platform would not be shut down. Microsoft is a joint venture partner. Microsoft is of course not happy that Nook is using Reader. So it probably would end up becoming a software and services platform. Microsoft might start bundling it with Windows RT and Windows 8 to take on Amazon, Apple and Google.