Microsoft is going to be unveiling their first large scale digital bookstore sometime in the next few months. They are going to be populating it with over one million titles and will have a dedicated editorial staff to curate seasonal themes. Instead of developing an e-reading app, Microsoft is going to upgrade the EDGE internet browser with full support for EPUB.
In the 14971 developers preview build you can now read any unprotected e-book or books purchased directly from the Windows Store in the EPUB file format with Microsoft Edge. When you open an e-book, you will be taken into a customizable reading experience where you can change the font and text size and choose between 3 themes: light, sepia, and dark. As you read, you can leave bookmarks. To navigate through an e-book, you can use the table of contents or seek bar at the bottom of the browser. And you can also search for words or phrases and use Cortana to define specific words.
Microsoft is hoping that more users will use the EDGE to read e-books, since it only has a 5.09% market share in the United States. Meanwhile Google Chrome has a 48% share, so MS does have their work cut out for them.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.