Closing the Book: Microsoft MS Reader goes the way of Zune and Kin

by Knowlton Thomas

And another one bites the dust.

Microsoft has officially closed the book on its MS Reader. The e-reading application was designed for consuming e-books on LCD screens via Microsoft's ClearType font technology, but it never took flight.

Perhaps it was too early in the game for Microsoft, a failed first-mover advantage, since e-books and e-readers are now big business. Reader was first available back in 2000, well before Kindles or Nooks or Kobos or iBooks came about. It had potential, but it never really garnered any support, and now in no way competes with today's prime e-reader offerings.

From Microsoft:

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. 

Microsoft Reader lasted longer than the Zune and Kin combined, but utlimately struck out. It will be interesting to see what the software giant does next—whether it abandons the e-reading space, forges a strategic partnership, or launches a more competitive product of its own, as it did by re-trying the mobile space with Windows 7 Mobile.

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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