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Microsoft Stops Selling eBooks, Will Refund Customers For Previous Purchases

Wednesday April 3, 2019. 12:10 AM , from Slashdot
Starting today, Microsoft is ending all ebook sales in its Microsoft Store for Windows PCs. 'Previously purchased ebooks will be removed from users' libraries in early July,' reports The Verge. 'Even free ones will be deleted. The company will offer full refunds to users for any books they've purchased or preordered.' From the report: Microsoft's 'official reason,' according to ZDNet, is that this move is part of a strategy to help streamline the focus of the Microsoft Store. It seems that the company no longer has an interest in trying to compete with Amazon, Apple Books, and Google Play Books. It's a bit hard to imagine why anyone would go with Microsoft over those options anyway.

If you have purchased ebooks from Microsoft, you can continue accessing them through the Edge browser until everything vanishes in July. After that, customers can expect to automatically receive a refund. According to a newly published Microsoft Store FAQ, '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 If your original payment method is no longer valid (or if you used a gift card), you'll receive a credit back to your Microsoft account to use online at the Microsoft Store. Microsoft will also offer an additional $25 credit (to your Microsoft account) if you annotated or marked up any ebook that you purchased from the Microsoft Store prior to today, April 2nd. Liliputing reminds us that 'if you pay for eBooks, music, movies, video games, or any other content from a store that uses DRM, then you aren't really buying those digital items so much as paying a license fee for the rights to access them... a right that can be revoked if the company decides to remove a title from your device unexpectedly or if a company shuts down a server that would normally handle the digital rights management features.' You can find DRM-free eBooks at some online stores including Smashwords and Kobo (by browsing the DRM-free selection), or from publisher websites including Angry Robot, and Baen.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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