[credit provider=”Barnes & Noble”]
Bookseller Barnes & Noble is soliciting developers to create apps for the Nook colour, as it prepares to turn its $250 e-reader into more of a complete Android tablet.Hackers have already shown that it’s possible to run Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) on the Nook, which ships with an earlier version of the Google mobile OS (2.1, or Eclair, which was originally made for phones).
But B&N’s move makes it official, and opens up the possibility of a much cheaper alternative to Android tablets like the Xoom, which has sold disappointingly so far — and to Apple’s iPad.
Developers can get tools and information at the new Nook Developer site.
Microsoft sued B&N last month for patent infringement over Android, and at the time it looked petty that a for a huge company to take on a bookseller who used Android in only an incidental way. But perhaps Microsoft was on to something after all — with apps, the Nook looks an awful lot like a low-end competitor to Windows netbooks.
Amazon recently released its own Android app store, online payment system, and online music storage service, suggesting that it too may be planning to release its own tablet.
Don’t miss: How Amazon Could Become A Huge Tablet Player.