Anyone who has purchased ebooks through the Microsoft store are about to get some unpleasant news: all their books will be deleted this month. The good news is you can request a refund.
Microsoft announced in April that it would stop selling e-books and that any book the company had sold would stop working in early July because they were going to shut down their DRM servers. Yes, you read it right. Those books that you “bought” will disappear. Even the “free” books that you downloaded through Microsoft will be deleted.
Microsoft started selling e-books in 2017, but technological limitations made them unpopular among users. As my colleague Alex Cranz explained in April, anyone who bought Microsoft’s e-books in the past had to do it through the company’s own Edge browser, since they never made their own application to read ebooks. The books also included restrictive DRMs, a kind of digital locks that prohibit people from sharing these files with others. Unfortunately, the existence of those same locks is the reason why Microsoft can disconnect their books remotely.
Users will receive a refund of what they have in the account, but if your credit card has expired or you have not saved your payment method, Microsoft will give you the equivalent money but you will have to use it in the Microsoft Store.
What about all the notes you made about your books? They will also disappear. But Microsoft will give an extra $ 25 to anyone who has made an entry in one of their books before April 2. How generous, right?
This situation shows how ridiculous our current scenario can be when we all buy movies, games or books through companies that use DRM. Few people imagine Apple closing its store soon, but what will happen if within 10 or 20 years a competitor appears and Apple decides that it is too expensive to maintain these servers? In the days of the DVD, nobody could take away your movies. Now all that is needed is to click on a button and that’s it, as has happened with Microsoft. Cory Doctorow explained this in Boing Boing , and predicted this scenario 15 years ago .
We do not know yet what exact day they will disappear, only that it will happen at the end of the month. So read while you can.
As our second lead editor, Christina Callen provides guidance on the stories s4Tips reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. Christina received a BA and and MA from The University of Washington.