When Microsoft released a Windows 10 preview last November which included Epub support in the Edge web browser, it looked like it was just a technical test of the browser's ability's, but now MS is about to launch a matching ebookstore.
MSPowerUser reports that Microsoft is about ready to fill the one content hole in its online store.
Like Google, Amazon, and Apple, Microsoft sells apps, music, and video through its retail site, but unlike the other three MS does not sell ebooks. According to a leaked internal build of Windows 10, that is going to change soon:
We were today able to get an early look at the new e-books store in an internal build of Windows 10 Mobile, but the feature is also going to be available for PCs and tablets running Windows 10. The new e-book store will be integrated into the Windows Store as a dedicated section where users will be able to buy books from a range of different publishers and authors. Buying a book from the Windows Store works just like how you would buy an app, game or a music album — simply find a book you want to buy, and hit the Buy button to purchase it.
Once purchased, you can start reading the book on Microsoft Edge which is also getting a dedicated section for Books in Windows 10. This is where you will be able to find all the books you have purchased from the Windows Store which is pretty neat. Thanks to Microsoft Edge’s strong EPUB support, you will be able to add bookmarks into any book you are reading or easily view the table of contents. You can also customize the EPUB Viewer’s theme, change the font size and even the font family to fit your needs.
I first heard the news on PCWorld, which excited over Microsoft's potential impact on the ebook market and how it could unseat Amazon.
Me, I don't think ebooks will matter any more to Microsoft than they do to Apple or Google. All three are far too large and make far too much money in other sectors to really care about the ebook market.
Their interest is perfunctory, which is why Amazon, a retailer, continues to dominate the market.
But I do agree that MS is getting back into ebooks. Microsoft was actually one of the early pioneers in the ebook market. They partnered with Barnes & Noble to launch the Microsoft Reader format in 2000, but eventually lost interest when the early ebook market fizzled out.
Even after the Kindle ignited the ebook market, MS allowed its ebook service to languish before ultimately killing it in 2012 It was soon replaced with a second partnership with B&N Nook Media. That was a smart move for MS but ultimately came to naught when B&N's ebook division imploded in early 2013.
And now Microsoft could be making a third venture into ebooks.
Will it prove more successful than before?
In other words, would you buy an ebook from the Windows Store?
Thanks, Tom, for the tip!