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Microsoft Store to shelve ebooks, will begin issuing refunds to buyers

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If you recently purchased an ebook from the Microsoft Store on Windows 10, you’ll soon be due for a refund. Microsoft has announced that it will be shutting down the ebooks category on its app store, with the goal of eventually removing all existing Microsoft Store ebooks from the digital libraries of consumers come July.

According to Microsoft, refunds for previously purchased ebooks will begin processing in July 2019 to any original payment methods. If an original payment method is no longer valid, credit will instead be applied to a Microsoft Account for use toward games or apps in the Microsoft Store. For individuals who may have marked-up or annotated books, Microsoft will apply an additional $25 credit whenever refunds are processed.

Though Microsoft is not providing a concrete reason for its decision, ZDNet reports that the company is “streamlining the strategy focus” of the Microsoft Store. This means that come July, all ebooks purchased through the Microsoft Store in Windows 10 will no longer be available to read — including any free ebooks.

Consumers can still continue to read ebooks in Microsoft Edge ahead of that date, but the ability to pre-order, rent, or buy new ebooks has already been removed from the store. Microsoft also recommends that anyone who has pre-ordered new books consider another digital bookstore.

Microsoft has somewhat of a history with cutting out some of its services. Now that the Microsoft Band wearable is no more, the company says the Microsoft Health dashboard will be shutting down in May 2019. In 2018, Microsoft also ended support for its Groove Music streaming service, which spurred consumers to switch to more popular alternatives like Spotify and Pandora

If you’re seeking alternatives to the ebooks in Microsoft Store in Windows 10, there are plenty of options. You can download Amazon’s Windows 10 Kindle application, or you can add the Google Play Books extension to Google Chrome in Windows 10. There are also many great physical ebook readers, which you can purchase to get a better experience than you get when viewing them on your computer screen. We have a collection of the best ebook readers for 2019 right here.

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