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Microsoft to Buy Nook? Insider Monkey’s “Highly Placed Source” Challenges TechCrunch’s “Internal Documents”

Barnes & Noble’s digital future seems cloudier than ever as a new story is contradicting reports that Microsoft wants to buy Nook Media.

For those keeping score, it’s TechCrunch citing “internal documents” that Microsoft is offering $1 billion for the division versus Insider Monkey claiming a “highly placed source inside Microsoft” says it has no plans to acquire Nook Media.

Which source to believe? Beats us, but maybe a little information about the sources will help. TechCrunch describes itself as “a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.” Insider Monkey is a site for investors that tries to dig up information from those who work for publicly traded companies, which it says it does by “monkeying only the top insiders, the ones who have the best track record.”

Neither B&N nor Microsoft (except maybe a highly placed insider) is commenting, but investors certainly have been taking the reports seriously; B&N’s share price spiked on the news last week, and then fell back some on Monday afternoon after Insider Monkey posted its story.

Given the disappointing sales of the e-reader and tablet devices, the only thing that’s certain about the Nook’s future–regardless of what Microsoft does or doesn’t do–is its uncertainty.