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EBooks From Microsoft To Be A Thing Of The Past Soon

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If you have bought eBooks from Microsoft Store, you may be in for disappointment. Starting April 2, Microsoft has closed down the eBooks category in Microsoft Store and no more purchases can be made from the store. Microsoft will continue to sell games, apps and movies but, not e-books.

The eBooks will also no longer be available for reading from July, and customers will be given a full refund of the original purchase price. Pre-orders will be canceled, and customers will not be charged for the purchase.

Starting July, eligible customers will begin receiving refunds automatically to their original payment method or as credit back to their Microsoft account for use online in Microsoft Store for future purchases. This will also be applicable for books bought with a gift card or credit available in the Microsoft account.

However, customers can continue to read rented books through the duration of the rental period. Downloaded free books will also no longer be available from July.

Microsoft is giving out an additional $25 if anyone has made annotations or notes in their eBooks prior to April 2 as they also will disappear. The bonus is for the inconvenience caused for losing those notes.

Microsoft, which started selling eBooks in 2017, is stopping their digital rights management or DRM servers as they are proving to be very expensive to maintain. DRM manages and provides the license for accessing the eBooks.

Microsoft's eBooks have not been very popular as customers had to use Microsoft's Edge browser and the company never had plans to develop a dedicated eBook reader application like larger rival Amazon with its Kindle platform.

Microsoft's move to stop access to eBooks also brings out a question of ownership of the eBooks. The general understanding is that you gain lifetime access to the eBooks once paid for. However, the customer just obtains a license to access them rather than owning them. This stands good for customers who built up an Apple iTunes song library or a pile of eBooks bought from Amazon.

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