Microsoft cancels its Reader e-book app

Software giant to discontinue downloads for the pioneering app, which launched well before the popularity of e-book reader devices.

Microsoft will discontinue support of its e-book reader app, the company quietly announced today.

No new content for the pioneering app will be sold after November 8, and the company will end support next year, Microsoft announced on its Reader site:

Microsoft is discontinuing Microsoft Reader effective August 30, 2012, which includes download access of the Microsoft Reader application from the Microsoft Reader website. However, customers may continue to use and access the Microsoft Reader application and any .lit materials on their PCs or devices after the discontinuation on August 30, 2012. New content for purchase from retailers in the .lit format will be discontinued on November 8, 2011.

While sales will be discontinued, users will have indefinite access to purchased content housed on their device, Microsoft said. Microsoft also said it had no plans to offer an alternative app and that it would not help users migrate their Reader content to another e-book reader.

Launched in 2000, Microsoft's app displays text in the .lit file format, allowing users to read books on their Windows-based computers and mobile devices.

Microsoft did not say why it decided to discontinue the app. However, with the growing popularity of competing e-books readers such as Amazon's Kindle, the app has received scant support from the software giant. Its last desktop update came in 2007, while its last update for mobile devices was in 2009.

Updated at 10 p.m. to correct date when support would end.

 

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