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Microsoft shutting down Reader Services

Handheld PC News

Posted 9 years ago | News | 6 comments | Author: Chris Tilley

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Redmond have announced that Microsoft Reader, Microsoft's turn of the millennium answer to what eventually succeeded as the Kindle and now the iPad is to be shut down.

Released officially for Pocket PC 2002 and via a small number of OEM's for the Windows CE Core OS market in 2001, Reader promised to open up your Windows Powered Device to the world of eBooks. With a market place featuring a humble 60,000 titles, Reader had been kicked into the long grass some time ago and all but abandoned by publishers.
In a statement posted on the official Reader website Microsoft have stated that they will be discontinuing the Reader .lit format on 8th November 2011, effectively preventing the publication of new materials for the format.

Reader will then be discontinued and all downloads removed from microsoft.com on 30th August 2012.

Microsoft is able to kill off the format as .lit is a DRM enabled technology that requires device activation for the purchasing of premium content.

For those with a .lit library there is some good news however as the program will continue to work after the August 2012 cut-off.

As with so many of Microsoft’s efforts, Reader was ahead of its time and largely under appreciated. Whether they released to market before the publishing industry was willing to accept the digital market place. Or whether the small number of not quite fit for book reading 'Pocket PC' devices was the root cause of its demise, perhaps we will never know.

It is however one more legacy technology that once reflected the energy and importance of Windows CE to Microsoft, that is about to become a footnote beneath our legacy community.

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Microsoft Reader Discontinuation Statement
Posted on 16 August 2011 at 10:37

Comments on this article

There are 6 comments for this news item.

MobilePro Master's Avatar MobilePro Master 19 August 2011 4:13:12 PM
Well, they probably just assumed 2012 is the end of the world anyway so no one will care? :P

At least there's some time though, I never got to experiment with Reader on my Jornada. Although now I am confused because my Jornada 520 runs PPC2000, not 2002, yet it came with Reader installed... What does this mean?
C:Amie's Avatar C:Amie 20 August 2011 9:10:26 PM
It means that I forgot that it was ROM bundled and only released as a stand alone with 2002 :)
torch's Avatar torch 21 August 2011 2:50:09 AM
Lol, C:Amie. :)

Besides, if the world ends in 2012, the Pocket PCs are too flimsy to survive. Our sturdy Handheld PCs will live on....with all of the roaches.. :P
Rich Hawley's Avatar Rich Hawley 23 August 2011 11:41:08 PM
Maybe they will now release a good .lit conversion utility, something along the lines of CLIT, but something would handle graphics as well as text...

I wonder if ebooks will continue to be offered in .lit format? It was always nice to have MSReader on my pocketpcs as an embedded application.
CE Geek's Avatar CE Geek 24 August 2011 5:51:09 AM
That's some acronym for a LIT converter utility. :p
C:Amie's Avatar C:Amie 24 August 2011 9:42:11 AM
I doubt it simply because a lot of the material is DRM encoded and commercial.
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