Microsoft removes ebooks from store; will send out refunds in July

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Microsoft is officially out of the ebook business. As of Tuesday, April 2, books have been removed from the Microsoft Store as the company has eliminated that category.

According to Microsoft's support page, users who have purchased books from the store have until July 2019 to read them. After that point, they will become unavailable. This includes any free ebooks that were claimed.

Redmond will begin processing refunds in early July to anyone who has purchased books. Refunds will be automatically credited to the associated payment method or will appear as a credit on the user's Microsoft Store account. No requests or other actions are necessary from customers.

Any annotations made in books will be lost after July 2019. Users who had annotations before April 2, will receive an additional $25 credit to their accounts for the inconvenience of the data loss.

"Refund processing for eligible customers start rolling out automatically in early July 2019 to your original payment method. If your original payment method is no longer valid and on file with us, you will receive a credit back to your Microsoft account for use online in Microsoft Store."

As of today, any outstanding pre-orders will be canceled, and customers will not be charged. Microsoft recommends that customers still interested in receiving their pre-ordered ebooks should place orders with other vendors such as Amazon, Google or Apple.

ZDNet notes, “Microsoft’s official reason for the move is it's attempting to streamline the strategic focus of the Microsoft Store.”

The decision might also be related to the company’s upcoming switch to a Chromium-based Edge browser. Edge is used to read ebooks and store user libraries. It could be that the new browser is not well enough suited for this. The July deadline may also be a hint on when Microsoft is planning to officially release the new Edge. Keep in mind this is only speculation.

It's all just as well though as Fortune reported in 2017 that the software juggernaut was having a difficult time competing with Amazon's Kindle.

Users with purchased books will soon be receiving emails with more information on refunds in the coming weeks.

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arrowflash

TS Booster
Well this is exactly why people pirate, its the same as buying a book and then microsoft will break into your house and take it back at night
Well not exactly the same as breaking into your property and stealing your stuff since they're refunding your money... hopefully, with inflationary correction + interest over the inflation adjusted price (in my country they'd be required by law to count for these, don't know if in the US is the same).
But other than that I agree, and what Microsoft should have done is allow users to download DRM-free PDFs or epubs of the books available in their accounts for a reasonable period of time. Pirates win again.
 

jobeard

TS Ambassador
@Cal Jeffrey notes
The decision might also be related to the company’s upcoming switch to a Chromium-based Edge browser. Edge is used to read ebooks and store user libraries. It could be that the new browser is not well enough suited for this. The July deadline may also be a hint on when Microsoft is planning to officially release the new Edge. Keep in mind this is only speculation.
That's a well informed speculation - - typical of MS - - and IMO, why I disdain their Internet tools such Edge and Chromium -- tweaked with special case code to mess-up W3C standards compliant documents. If a document can't be presented correctly with Mozilla Firefox, Opera and/or Google Chrome, then the webmaster isn't concerned with standards and compatibility and I for one will not reference those documents nor use the tools necessary to present them.

Yes, this is a RANT.
 
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