Windows 10 Creators Update To Feature New E-Book Store
It appears as though Microsoft will be joining its competition in having an ebook store of its own. The feature was revealed in an internal build of Windows 10 Mobile, though the addition of an ebook store is said to be also coming to PCs and tablets running Windows 10. Assuming Microsoft goes through with those plans, the feature is likely to roll out with the Creators Update.
This does not come as much of a surprise, considering that Microsoft recently added EPUB support to its Edge browser in Windows 10. On top of that, its biggest rivals—Amazon, Apple, and Google—all have ebook stores as well, so Microsoft is simply playing catch-up here rather than blazing new ground. It also makes sense from a business standpoint since Microsoft has tried so hard to promote Windows 10 across a variety of hardware platforms, including ones that would be friendly to e-books, such as tablets, convertibles, and detachable 2-in-1 devices.
It is said the new ebook store will be integrated into the Windows Store as a standalone section, similar to music, games, and apps. Users will be able to buy ebooks from a variety of publishers and authors, and then read them in Microsoft Edge. It is not clear exactly how fleshed out its catalog will be, and whether Microsoft has reached any agreements with major publishers at this stage.
There is an interesting side angle that might come into play. Microsoft has been competing with Google's Chromebook category in the education segment. One of the draws with Chromebooks is that they're relatively inexpensive, though more recently the cost of Windows-based laptops and 2-in-1 devices have come down in price. By adding EPUB support to Edge and opening an ebook store, Microsoft could further entice educators and students over to its platform and perhaps win back some of the share that Chromebooks have taken.
As for pricing, it does not look like Microsoft is attempting to undercut the competition. There are some screenshots showing a few ebooks and their prices, including Settle for More by Megyn Kelly ($14.99), Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance ($15.99), and Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer ($16.87).