A lot of people are still under the impression that the “all digital future” is the way content delivery should be handled thanks to the digital infrastructure of e-commerce and the closure of various brick and mortar chains. However, that “all digital future” looks less and less consumer palatable when you hear about news where all your digital purchases will be inaccessible with the closure of a digital storefront. That’s exactly what’s happening with the Microsoft Store’s closure of its eBooks section.
Liliputing picked up the news that Microsoft has closed down the eBook offerings on the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 users. The closure took place on April 2nd, 2019. Anyone who purchased or pre-ordered books will not be charged for a purchase after said date, and refunds are currently being issued for purchases.
At the top of the Microsoft Support page, it clearly states that after July, 2019 you’ll no longer be able to access, read, or browse through the eBooks you purhcased from the Microsoft Store, stating…
“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.”
This has always been a major issue with digital content.
Once the distributor decides to close up shop, you can kiss the content goodbye.
Gamers, in particular, are always leery about all-digital systems because – like in the case with the Microsoft Store’s eBook section – there’s that looming fear that at some point the store will shut down and you will lose access to all of the games you paid for.
In this case, Microsoft’s eBooks endeavors only lasted for two years. They originally began selling eBooks from the Microsoft Store back in January of 2017, according to Liliputing.
This isn’t even the first time that Microsoft left customers high and dry in the battleground of digital commerce. Some of you might remember when they pulled support for Games For Windows Live, leaving a ton of games broken or inaccessible. This required Valve to step in and offer transitional support with Steamworks in order to keep some games operational after Microsoft stopped supporting Games For Windows Live. PC Gaming Wiki chronicled some of the games that had to switch over or modify their multiplayer in lieu of GFWL being abandoned back in 2013.
Basically, if Microsoft has yet to show any commitment to the all-digital future they’ve been yearning to make the industry standard, the question becomes: why do people keep trusting that next time it will stick?
Microsoft’s next foray into the all-digital age is rumored to be a disc-less Xbox One unit code named the “Maverick”. It’s supposed to launch in May. I’m just curious how long Microsoft will support the unit before they abandon it in pursuit of something else, leaving consumers high and dry?
(Thanks for the news tip npcomplete)