Microsoft’s attempts at providing electronic entertainment is being ended — with the announcement of shutting down “Microsoft Reader”. After August 30, 2012, the eReader software will no longer be available to download and no new content for the pioneering app will be sold after November 8, and the company will end support next year, Microsoft announced on its Reader site:
In addition, the software’s ebook store will shut down after November 8, 2011. People who have already downloaded Microsoft Reader and purchased eBooks via the software will still be able to use the app even after August 30, 2012. Microsoft offered no concrete reason for the shut down of Microsoft Reader.
For those new, “Launched in 2000, Microsoft Reader is a free, downloadable software application that allows you to read eBooks on Windows-based devices you may already own. Take advantage of a marketplace of over 60,000 eBook titles while enjoying the convenience and features of Microsoft Reader.”
Microsoft Reader allowed people to download, purchase and eBooks in the .lit format via Windows-based PCs and mobile devices. While the app was released well before the publishing industry embraced the eBook business, the software never caught on with Windows users. Indeed this might be the case of Microsoft being ahead of its time. Microsoft Reader was released long before Amazon changed the book industry forever with its Kindle eReader device and its related software app that is available for the PC, Android and iOS products.
Microsoft hasn’t reason the closure but the News.com reports that with the growing popularity of competing e-books readers such as Amazon’s Kindle, the app has received scant support from the software giant. Its last desktop update came in 2007, while its last update for mobile devices was in 2009.
Microsoft doesn’t plan to release a new eReader app. If you happen to delete your Microsoft Reader copy after the shut down date, you may be out of luck. Microsoft doesn’t plan to help any of the software’s users to transfer its eBook purchases to another third party app.
While sales will be discontinued, users will have indefinite access to purchased content housed on their device, Microsoft said. Microsoft also said it had no plans to offer an alternative app and that it would not help users migrate their Reader content to another e-book reader.