First, they came for the bookstore, then they came for the books. In April 2019 Microsoft stopped selling books via the Microsoft Store, and a few days ago Microsoft posted a support page saying Edge will no longer support popular ebook format ePub.
The page, titled “Download an ePub app to keep reading e-books”, notes that “Microsoft Edge will no longer support e-books that use the .epub file extension. Visit the Microsoft Store to see our recommended .ePub apps.”
Despite the page, the old Edge, of course, continues to read ePub books just fine, but I expect in the near future Microsoft will be pushing put the new Chromium-based Edge browser, which replaces the old browser, and which will, therefore, remove the functionality.
The arrival of the support page therefore likely also signals that a wide beta of the new Edge browser is near.
Microsoft recommends users find an ePub reader in the Store and notes that they have partnered with the Daisy Consortium to release an accessible reader for Windows. This app is expected to arrive in September.
The move also signals the end of Microsoft’s plan to make the browser the do-everything shell for Windows, an idea which always seemed somewhat flawed from the start.
One group of users will be particularly affected. Students have been able to use the annotation features for PDFs and ePubs for revision for some years now, and may have built up a library which is impossible to read anywhere else.
Are any of our readers affected? Let us know below.
via the WC