In a rumor that would surprise absolutely no one, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is said to be on a bit of a shopping spree recently. And insider sources are now saying the technology titan is looking to take over Barnes & Noble’s Nook Media division.

There is nothing official on this yet, but TechCrunch is reporting that Redmond is willing to pay as much as $1 billion for a significant share of the subsidiary. This, obviously, includes the company’s Nook tablet and ereaders business.

The college textbook division, it seems, is not covered by the deal.

Citing leaked internal documents, the source reports that Nook Media has worked out a bit of a plan for itself for the next couple of years — quite possibly in the case if the deal with Microsoft goes through.

The two companies, Microsoft and Barnes & Noble, are said to be working together on several projects. Redmond has already invested $300 million for a 16.8 percent joint venture with Barnes & Noble, but nothing substantial has been developed based on this deal.

Nook was, nevertheless, quick to launch an app for Windows 8 — soon after the OS hit retail.

But now it appears that the company may pull the plug off of Nook tablets (that actually use Android operating system) by 2014, and instead solely focus on third-party devices running its own software applications.

It goes without saying that take everything with a pinch of salt for now, until Microsoft issues an official statement on this.

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  • Dominico-James Black Eagle Hod

    It’s about time. Microsoft needs a books division to compete with google books and apple ibooks.