And now, for some perspective: Like many of Microsoft's sidecars — the Windows 10 Mobile OS, the Zune music player, cross-platform ecosystems, you get the drill — ebooks from the Microsoft Store have had their day. One of the latest casualties this year was the demise of ebooks from the Microsoft Store. Sales ended on April 2 and we are mere days from when, thanks to digital rights management, every purchased book will disappear from users' libraries.
Microsoft does make for some concessions: all purchases, including pre-orders, will automatically be refunded either through their original payment mediumoriginal payment medium or in Microsoft Store credits and customers who have marked up or made annotations in their books prior to April 2 will receive an extra $25 credit. Until at some point early next month, people will be able to read any of their texts — free or purchased.
It's a sobering reminder that when people sign up to a digital media platform, they may be building a house of cards. Perhaps it might sound quaint when it comes to mass media, but can be frighteningly painful for services focused on a niche genre or format that happen to be dealing with economic factors that favor everything but licensure in perpetuity.
Rob Donoghue, co-founder of table game producer Evil Hat, put it pretty succinctly:
Reminded that the Microsoft ebook store closes next week. The DRM'd books will stop working.
I cannot believe that sentence.
"The books will stop working."
I keep saying it and it sounds worse each time.
— Rob Donoghue (@rdonoghue) June 26, 2019
Support your local public libraries, folks.
- Y Combinator