Microsoft Store loses eBook sales fight, will refund users & delete books in July

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in General Discussion
Microsoft is preparing to shut down its books section of the Microsoft Store, preventing customers from buying or renting new ebooks, deleting any notations on purchases, and warning that all of the purchased ebooks will not be available to read at all starting from July 2019.




A process that started on Tuesday, customers of the Microsoft Store wanting to acquire ebooks from the company will not be able to do so. A support page advises if the store category's closure, and that while customers will be able to read all of the content they have purchased from the store, they will only have until July to do so before it becomes unavailable.

Pre-orders for ebooks with delivery after April 2 have been cancelled, with customers not charged and instead recommended to "pre-order at another digital book store." Microsoft also advises it will be providing full refunds for all book purchases once they become unreadable, which will roll out automatically from early July to the customer's original payment method, or as Microsoft Store credit.

For customers who made annotations or marked up their ebooks before April 2, Microsoft will be adding an extra credit of $25 to their Microsoft Accounts on top of other refunds.

The Microsoft book store allowed customers to buy ebooks, but rather than offer them as separate downloads or in a custom reader app, the titles were instead available to read within the Microsoft Edge browser. This meant the books were also available to read on iOS and Android using the mobile version of the browser, with progress synchronized between devices to allow users to continue where they last left off.

At the time of the refunds being processed, the eBooks will be removed from each customer's Edge browser.

ZDnet reports Microsoft's official reason for closing the store is to streamline the focus of the Microsoft Store. It is also suggested the change could be linked to the April 2019 Update for Windows 10 or the company's change for Edge itself to one based on Chromium.

Microsoft's withdrawal from ebooks arrives at a time when Apple is increasing its presence in the digital reading marketplace. The iPhone maker recently announced the Apple News+ subscription, which offers a selection of paid content from news outlets and magazines on iOS devices.

The loss of the ebook store means Microsoft is bowing out of another area of content distribution, following after the departure of Groove Music in December 2017. The Microsoft Store still sells a variety of content, including movies and TV shows, alongside games and other software.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,053member
    So the content people bought will be removed from their access? Why anyone buys ephemeral digital content that cannot be perpetually maintained I will never understand. 
    cornchipdave marshbohlerjony0
  • Reply 2 of 23
    Shades of Fahrenheit 451 (movie remake)
    DanManTXwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 23
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 199member
    Wow. What a surprise... NOT! TV shows and movies are probably on the next list of removing. To be honest, I'm NOT even a big fan of Apple's iBook. Some updates they messed up my collections and especially PDFs just disappeared; plus iBook Store's book collections are not that great. Kindle is my go-to eBook and Acrobat app is where PDFs belong. Sorry, Apple, and so so very sorry, Microsoft, for the bad news.
    edited April 3 jbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 23
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 901member
    This would be a huge windfall for customers if they bought textbooks on it. IDK if textbooks were offered on the MS Store, but textbooks tend to be way overpriced and usually only used for a semester. When I went to college most of the books that I could sell back were at a serious discount, and most of them I could not sell.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 23
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,285member
    Wow. What a surprise... NOT! TV shows and movies are probably on the next list of removing. To be honest, I'm NOT even a big fan of Apple's iBook. Some updates they messed up my collections and especially PDFs just disappeared; plus iBook Store's book collections are not that great. Kindle is my go-to eBook and Acrobat app is where PDFs belong. Sorry, Apple, and so so very sorry, Microsoft, for the bad news.
    To each their own. I don’t even have the Acrobat app, and have never, ever lost documents or books. I sleep soundly at night. 
    n2itivguygenovellepscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 23
    Johan42Johan42 Posts: 152member
    dysamoria said:
    So the content people bought will be removed from their access? Why anyone buys ephemeral digital content that cannot be perpetually maintained I will never understand. 
    It’s the future...unfortunately.
  • Reply 7 of 23
    HenryDJPHenryDJP Posts: 75member
    Wow. What a surprise... NOT! TV shows and movies are probably on the next list of removing. To be honest, I'm NOT even a big fan of Apple's iBook. Some updates they messed up my collections and especially PDFs just disappeared; plus iBook Store's book collections are not that great. Kindle is my go-to eBook and Acrobat app is where PDFs belong. Sorry, Apple, and so so very sorry, Microsoft, for the bad news.
    Gotta love how an article about Microsoft ends in a trash post towards Apple when Apple has nothing to do with this article. SMH. 
    DanManTXn2itivguylkrupppscooter63watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 23
    dysamoria said:
    So the content people bought will be removed from their access? Why anyone buys ephemeral digital content that cannot be perpetually maintained I will never understand. 
    Well, they are getting a full refund so that's fair.  They can take that refund and buy the books elsewhere or in physical form.  Plus, this refund sets the bar for any other digital distributors.  I'd think it'll be more difficult for the likes of B&N and Amazon to just close up shop with only a shoulder shrug directed at their customers.
    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 23
    THIS is why DRM is a bad idea. (Yes, I know they're refunding people... but still... now they have to go re-buy something?, possibly at a higher price?... if it's even still available?)
     I love the "ephemeral" (nod to dysamoria) digital media... but once I pay for it, I make a point of having a DRM free version of it.

    cgWerksdasanman69watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,940member
    THIS is why DRM is a bad idea. (Yes, I know they're refunding people... but still... now they have to go re-buy something?, possibly at a higher price?... if it's even still available?)
     I love the "ephemeral" (nod to dysamoria) digital media... but once I pay for it, I make a point of having a DRM free version of it.

    Well, some people have 50 years worth of National Geographic magazines stockpiled in their attics too. It’s a hoarding mentality and it applies to digital media too. 
    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 23
    gilly33gilly33 Posts: 239member
    dysamoria said:
    So the content people bought will be removed from their access? Why anyone buys ephemeral digital content that cannot be perpetually maintained I will never understand. 
    That’s what I was thinking. I thought these were downloaded to your computer’s storage. One of the hiccups of keeping it in the cloud. This kind of shit might happened. I don’t have many Blu-ray discs and I know this kind of media might become obsolete but give me hard copies any day. E-books a great way to have a large library without taking up all the physical space but this is crap. 
  • Reply 12 of 23
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,281member
    Digital books just don't work and have no value.
    Tablet screens are tiresome to look at (digital paper excluded) and lack the feel, look, smell and ergonomics of a real book.
    Same goes for other digital content.
    Digital music for example has no value compared to the real thing: tape, LP or CD combined with the art of the cover.
    The ‘magic’ component is gone, it’s just no fun anymore.

  • Reply 13 of 23
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,507member
    Wow. What a surprise... NOT! TV shows and movies are probably on the next list of removing. To be honest, I'm NOT even a big fan of Apple's iBook. Some updates they messed up my collections and especially PDFs just disappeared; plus iBook Store's book collections are not that great. Kindle is my go-to eBook and Acrobat app is where PDFs belong. Sorry, Apple, and so so very sorry, Microsoft, for the bad news.
    I’ve never had problems with books in iBooks. But I’ve lost pdf’s as you have. Somehow, when they update the app, that happens. I’ve learned to save all PDFs to BOX as well as iBooks. Never had a problem there.

    but I don’t use Apple’s Stocks app either anymore. The same thing happens there. Every time the app is updated my stocks disappear. Just the standard symbols appear, and I have to do that over again. Yahoo’s app doesn’t have this problem.

    this would seem to be something Apple is aware of, or certainly should be, since it’s obvious it’s happening. As other apps don’t have this problem, it can’t be that hard to fix, unless something in the way they’re programmed is screwy.
    edited April 3 ravnorodom
  • Reply 14 of 23
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 561member
    Sincere question: could I potentially lose access to the one book I bought on the Apple Book store if Apple closes it down?
  • Reply 15 of 23
    dave marshdave marsh Posts: 300member
    Sincere question: could I potentially lose access to the one book I bought on the Apple Book store if Apple closes it down?
    Not if you downloaded it into your Books app.  When you back up to iTunes, it saves your books.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 23
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,414administrator
    Sincere question: could I potentially lose access to the one book I bought on the Apple Book store if Apple closes it down?
    We don't think so. There doesn't appear to be an external content kill-switch mechanism in iBooks.
    ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 23
    dave marshdave marsh Posts: 300member
    knowitall said:
    Digital books just don't work and have no value.
    Tablet screens are tiresome to look at (digital paper excluded) and lack the feel, look, smell and ergonomics of a real book.
    Same goes for other digital content.
    Digital music for example has no value compared to the real thing: tape, LP or CD combined with the art of the cover.
    The ‘magic’ component is gone, it’s just no fun anymore.

    I collected books for decades.  It was easy.  I had a large house and spent a fortune having custom bookcases built into a formal library.  It was beautiful.  Unfortunately, as I got older I realized I had to downsize, and that meant losing my library.

    When I sold my house, the library went with it, of course, but I donated the bulk of the books to local libraries, keeping only my leather bound collectors editions and signed editions.  I then built a new single wall bookcase in my new house to house all these beautiful books.

    Now, I’m completely digital, using the Books app on my iPad Pro as my primary reading vehicle, which I do for hours daily.  My physical books are now on display, but never physically handled, except to pull down occasionally to admire particular volumes.

    The true value in a book is in its content.  The physical binding is great to handle and look at, and smells great too, but acquiring physical books is an option I no longer have the space for.
    ravnorodompscooter63cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 23
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 199member
    lkrupp said:
    THIS is why DRM is a bad idea. (Yes, I know they're refunding people... but still... now they have to go re-buy something?, possibly at a higher price?... if it's even still available?)
     I love the "ephemeral" (nod to dysamoria) digital media... but once I pay for it, I make a point of having a DRM free version of it.

    Well, some people have 50 years worth of National Geographic magazines stockpiled in their attics too. It’s a hoarding mentality and it applies to digital media too. 
    That's interesting. Long ago I bought decades long of National Geographic magazines collection from this guy who put out for tax sale (garage sale). He felt so happy that he finally got rid of them. I also bought CD-ROM version of them from eBay. Long story short, many years later I ended up threw 90% of them away due to moving. As for CD-ROM, I sold it back on eBay. I only needed it for a brief research for college. Digital is the way to go because you can do search and find.
    edited April 3 cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 23
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,686member
    Wow. What a surprise... NOT! TV shows and movies are probably on the next list of removing. To be honest, I'm NOT even a big fan of Apple's iBook. Some updates they messed up my collections and especially PDFs just disappeared; plus iBook Store's book collections are not that great. Kindle is my go-to eBook and Acrobat app is where PDFs belong. Sorry, Apple, and so so very sorry, Microsoft, for the bad news.
    To each their own. I don’t even have the Acrobat app, and have never, ever lost documents or books. I sleep soundly at night. 
    When I switched on iCloud Book Library, a bunch of my PDFs and random ebooks from places other than Apple disappeared from my collection. I quickly backed out of that and turned off iCloud, recovered all my books from my backup clone, and haven’t gone back.  I’m about to try again starting from scratch and manually adding them after iCloud is turned on, on a newer Mac that I started from scratch on, and hoping I can isolate and fix any that don’t “take”.  So, just saying that’s likely what they mean. 

    This is was when iCloud for Books first came out, so I’m willing to give it a chance that it’s been fixed, much like problems people had with Music/Match early on. 
    edited April 3 ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 23
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 130member
    melgross said:
    Wow. What a surprise... NOT! TV shows and movies are probably on the next list of removing. To be honest, I'm NOT even a big fan of Apple's iBook. Some updates they messed up my collections and especially PDFs just disappeared; plus iBook Store's book collections are not that great. Kindle is my go-to eBook and Acrobat app is where PDFs belong. Sorry, Apple, and so so very sorry, Microsoft, for the bad news.
    I’ve never had problems with books in iBooks. But I’ve lost pdf’s as you have. Somehow, when they update the app, that happens. I’ve learned to save all PDFs to BOX as well as iBooks. Never had a problem there.

    but I don’t use Apple’s Stocks app either anymore. The same thing happens there. Every time the app is updated my stocks disappear. Just the standard symbols appear, and I have to do that over again. Yahoo’s app doesn’t have this problem.

    this would seem to be something Apple is aware of, or certainly should be, since it’s obvious it’s happening. As other apps don’t have this problem, it can’t be that hard to fix, unless something in the way they’re programmed is screwy.
    The CNBC app has performed flawlessly for me over 3 years. Pertinent updates. One of the the first apps I know of supporting Siri Shortcuts. 
    watto_cobra
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