Barnes and Noble has just dropped support for their Windows e-reading app in the UK. They closed everything down today and gave no warning that a shutdown was imminent. Nook customer service is now encouraging anyone that wants to continue reading to buy an iPad or Android device.
Barnes and Noble has confirmed that since the UK store is now closed, you will not be able to read any of your past purchases. If you have bought any digital content, you should be able to get a refund from Microsoft.
In the last few months Barnes and Noble has severely scaled back their international expansion efforts. In June, they closed their European headquarters in Luxembourg and one month later they disabled the Nook Windows app all over Europe, except the UK.
Losing all of your e-book purchases because a store closes is nothing new and is one of the pitfalls of forging print. There is no clear path of ownership when you buy e-books, you are merely licensing them. When a store closes, customers are normally out of luck. I think its swell Microsoft is giving refunds, but how do you do it? I have researched for hours online and there is hardly any data at all on how to apply and get a refund.
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 CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.