The electronic book market is more closely associated with four prominent players: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Rakuten, which makes Kobo's electronic readers. But it's easy to forget that Microsoft once had its own e-book market.
Now, in 2019, he is coming out of this business. That is not really a surprise. Microsoft is good at many things, but historically has struggled with everything related to the content. There is no point in throwing resources into a niche market that is not even essential to your business aspirations.
But this means that starting next month, anyone who bought an e-book from Microsoft will discover that it will not work. . Why? Three letters: DRM.
What is DRM?
DRM stands for "digital rights management", and the term is often used to refer to software that prevents people from using content in a manner not authorized by the rights holder or licensor This includes making unauthorized copies, or even consume the content on an unapproved device.
It's certainly controversial, if it's not totally unpopular, but it's also an inevitable fact of life for anyone who buys e-books or movies online.
Many DRM programs work by connecting to a remote server to determine if the content is being used in an approved manner. Although it is not clear to 100% of what happens here, Microsoft has said that the books purchased in Microsoft Store will stop working as of the beginning of July 2019.
And like all free e-books use the same DRM than their paid counterparts, & # 39; I stopped working at the same time.
Microsoft also canceled any pre-order books that will be released after April 2, 2019. That is the date that Redmond formally closed the book section of the Microsoft Store.
This has not been particularly well received. The idea that books can suddenly stop working is a deeply inconvenient idea for many. Books, after all, are sacred. The theme of destroyed or "disappeared" books often appears in works of dystopian fiction, such as The Handmaid & # 39; s Tale, Fahrenheit 451 and 1984.
It's sensitive, that's all I say.
What Microsoft has done well  For Microsoft credit, you are reimbursing all purchases of electronic books in full, regardless of how much the book was read or when the purchase was made. In all likelihood, Microsoft will lose its abortive e-book business, although I doubt it will be significant.
Microsoft says that all refunds will be returned to the original payment method. If that is no longer available, the company will reimburse the money as a credit from Microsoft.
In addition, the company plans to issue a $ 25 credit to anyone who has taken notes or notes in their electronic books. That is generous, since I was not obliged to do so.
However, it is not ideal. Customers will have to buy back books that they already had, and it will undoubtedly generate a small mountain of bad press for Microsoft, although their share in the e-book business was relatively small.
TNW contacted Microsoft to obtain a declaration. . He directed us to his official guide on the company's website. We also request a precise date in which electronic books will stop working (as mentioned, the Microsoft page only says "early July." If we receive comments from them in more detail, we will update this publication.
Read below :  The developer of Deepnudes turns it off, but the damage is done