E-books overboard

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POSTED: July 2, 2019

Microsoft has just pulled out of the e-book market for the third time, and all books bought from its online store will stop working today.

According to the BBC website,

Consumers who bought ebooks via Microsoft’s online store are losing access to their libraries.

The service, which launched in 2017, relied on the use of a web browser rather than a dedicated app and failed to build a significant audience.

Titles purchased or offered for free will no longer be available.

Out-of-pocket users are, however, being offered refunds including a $25 (£20) credit if they made highlights or notes, which will also be lost.

Microsoft first entered the e-book trade in 2000 when it persauded Barnes & Noble to adopt its MSReader format, which never really took off. It tried again in 2012 (again with Barnes & Noble) but pulled out again in 2014.

The most interesting point in the article concerns the site Defective By Design which offers advice and support for DRM-free living. It’s literature page offers legal ways of obtaining DRM-free books that you actually own, and whose fates therefore remain in your hands.