It will come as little surprise to our readers that Microsoft is exiting another consumer market.
Today Microsoft posted a rather brutal announcement regarding the US-only ebook Store which they launched in 2017, saying “The books category is closing.”
Microsoft is not giving users a lot of time to ponder – the decision is effective today, with Microsoft writing “Starting April 2, 2019, the books category in Microsoft Store will be closing.”
More worrying is the second bit, however.
Unfortunately, this means that starting July 2019 your ebooks will no longer be available to read, but you’ll get a full refund for all book purchases.
Presumably, due to some DRM scheme, Microsoft will be remotely deactivating books readers already purchased and downloaded.
Microsoft says they will be giving full refunds, and if you used Microsoft’s much-touted inking feature to make notes, Microsoft will still be burning your book, but will give you a $25 store credit.
At this point it is difficult to think what other service Microsoft will kill next – they all seem to be dead already, but if this was killed due to poor adoption it may very well be because everyone else was expecting this from the start.
See the full FAQ below:
The books category is closing
Starting April 2, 2019, the books category in Microsoft Store will be closing. Unfortunately, this means that starting July 2019 your ebooks will no longer be available to read, but you’ll get a full refund for all book purchases. See below for details.
While you can no longer purchase or acquire additional books from the Microsoft Store, you can continue to read your books until July 2019 when refunds will be processed.
Will I be able to buy, rent or pre-order books after April 2, 2019?
No. On April 2, 2019, you can no longer buy, rent or pre-order books. You can continue to use Microsoft Edge to read books you’ve acquired until early July 2019.
What happens to books I’ve pre-ordered with delivery after April 2, 2019?
Your pre-order will be cancelled, and you will not be charged for the purchase. We recommend you pre-order at another digital book store.
How do I get my refund?
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 If your original payment method is no longer valid and on file with us, you will receive a credit back to your Microsoft account for use online in Microsoft Store.
What if I purchased a book with a gift card or credit, or no longer have the original payment method linked to my account?
Refunds will be credited back to your Microsoft account for use online in Microsoft Store.
What happens to books I’ve already purchased?
You can continue to read books you’ve purchased until July 2019 when they will no longer be available, and you will receive a full refund of the original purchase price.
What happens to books I’ve rented?
You can continue to read books you’ve rented through the duration of the rental period.
What happens to my free books?
You can continue to read free books you’ve downloaded until July 2019 when they will no longer be accessible.
What about my in-book notes?
Mark-ups and annotations made in books acquired from Microsoft Store will be available until early July 2019 when your books are removed from Microsoft Edge. If you have made mark-ups or annotations in any of your acquired books prior to April 2, 2019, you’ll receive an additional $25 credit to your Microsoft account at the same time refunds are processed.
When’s the last day I can read my books?
You’ll be able to read your books until early July 2019 when Microsoft processes the refunds.
What happens to my books in Microsoft Edge when I can no longer read them?
Your books will be removed from Microsoft Edge when Microsoft processes the refunds.