MS Reader, the ebook-reading software launched in 2000 to help people read ebooks on LCD screens. Back then, before Kindles and e-Ink and Nook Glowlights, MS Reader’s file formatting and ClearType style were designed to make it easier and more comfortable for people to read ebooks. Now MS Reader is obsolete and Microsoft has put it out of its misery.
The decision to end MS Reader was announced a few weeks ago, but the plug was pulled on August 30th. Customers who already have MS Reader and .lit files on their devices can continue to use the program, but there won’t be any more development and new .lit content hasn’t been pushed by retailers since the end of last year. With the rise of new e-reading technology, most people had already moved on from MS Reader, so the ending of the service is mostly symbolic.
With Windows 8 on the horizon, attention turns to Microsoft’s future plans for ebooks. A custom e-reader app is likely to feature in some form, possibly linked to the vague Microsoft-Barnes & Noble tie-up that was announced earlier this year. Windows 8 features some major changes, previously dubbed Metro, that look set to cause quite a stir when the new OS is released.