Tag Hartman-Simkins
One-Sided Arrangement

Microsoft is Closing an eBook Store, Deleting All Books You Bought

The news serves as a reminder that people don't own digital media.

Dan RobitzskiApril 4th 2019

You Got Owned

Microsoft is about to delete its eBook store. And when it goes, so too will every single book that anyone bought on the platform.

Those soon-to-be disgruntled readers will get full refunds, BBC reports, but the shutdown serves as a reminder of the transience of the internet — and how even media people think they own can be deleted with the push of a button.

Book Burning

In another recent example of the same phenomenon, Myspace deleted over a decade of music history when the surprisingly-extant social media site migrated across servers last month.

And while the news prompted countless jokes from people who were relieved that a record of their cringey teenage years had been erased, it also demonstrated how quickly things stored on the internet can be lost forever.

Returns Policy

Microsoft’s eBook store closure isn’t so extreme — the books still exist elsewhere. But the store’s customers will still find themselves cut off from media that they thought they owned.

In the long run, Microsoft closing its digital bookstore won’t change much. People will get their money back and feasibly be able to find their books elsewhere, armed with the knowledge that buying an eBook is really more of borrowing a rental that can be nabbed away at any time.

READ MORE: Microsoft’s eBook store: When this closes, your books disappear too [BBC News]

More on books: This Ebook Company Is Trying to Make Reading More Like Videogames

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