Microsoft has launched their digital bookstore today and you can access it once you download the Windows Creators Update. The online bookstore is apart of the Windows App Store, this is where you download native apps for Windows 10, in addition to music and film. Sadly, you can cannot download paid or free content unless you live in the United States. The Microsoft bookstore is not available in Canada or Europe.
The bookstore is populated with thousands of bestsellers from all of the major publishers. Microsoft is betting big that people will be more likely to pay for a title if it is from a well known author. Most of the most popular books range in price from $9.99 to $13.99, some are even cheaper than Amazon.
One of the things I really dig about the new Microsoft Bookstore is that they accept PAYPAL. Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and Google only accept credit cards when customers want to buy e-books. Kobo and Microsoft are the only two that accept PAYPAL in addition to credit cards.
Using the bookstore is easy. You simply have to configure your billing address and everything must match your PAYPAL or credit card details. If you mess up or live in a different country Microsoft will give you an error when you try and pay for something or download a royalty free book.
Microsoft is betting that anyone who is using a Surface or Windows 10 tablet will start doing business with them. Buying books in the App Store and reading them on the Edge Browser is much more intuitive than downloading Kindle for PC or the dreaded Kobo Desktop Manager. Many of the leading booksellers rely on Android or iOS apps, whereas Microsoft is the only game in town for an optimized Windows 10 experience.
The average Windows 10 user is likely unaware that Microsoft has a bookstore and it will take a coordinated marketing campaign to promote it and let people know that it exists.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.