Microsoft is Closing Its eBookstore (Again)
The books category is closing. Thanks for buying or downloading an ebook from Microsoft Store. Starting April 2, 2019, the books category will be closing. Unfortunately, this means you’ll no longer have access to your current ebooks as of July 2019, but you’ll get a full refund if you paid for your ebook download. See refund details below. Learn more.
Microsoft was actually one of the early ebook pioneers, but was never really able to exploit the advantages. Their MSReader format launched in the early aughts tech bubble, and was still worth buying when Microsoft killed it in 2011 (stripping the DRM and converting to Epub or Kindle was easy).
Then in 2012 Microsoft invested $300 million in B&N’s Nook spin off, Newco, essentially funding the Nook’s international expansion, only to see it go nowhere. (Microsoft pulled out of that partnership in late 2014.)
And now Microsoft is killing the ebookstore it launched to replace the Nook Store.
In fact, it has already been shut down, and the lights are going to be turned off in July. MS has already turned off the purchase option, and is in the process of cancelling all existing pre-orders.
There is some good news, though; we’re going to get refunds or credits for our purchases. Refunds will start rolling out automatically in early July 2019 to your original payment method. If your original payment method is no longer valid, MS will give you a credit for use at Microsoft Store online. Also, MS is going to compensate you for any lost annotations. If you have made any mark-ups or annotations in any of your ebooks prior to 2 April 2019 you will receive an additional $25 credit to your Microsoft account.
You can find more info in the FAQ.
On a scale of one to B&N closing down Fictionwise, this shutdown is actually rather customer-friendly. (Do you suppose Microsoft has been invaded by lizard people again?)