Microsoft is to halt support for its e-book reader application in a year's time, with no new content to be released after November this year.
Launched in 2000, Microsoft Reader was touted as a free, downloadable software application to enable users to read eBooks on Windows-based devices they already own, but just over a decade later, the company has quietly pulled the plug.
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On its Reader site, Microsoft published a statement revealing that it plans to discontinue Microsoft Reader from 30 August 2012, including download access of the Microsoft Reader application from the Microsoft Reader website, but gave no reasons for the move.
Commentators have observed, however, that with the growing popularity of competing e-book readers such as Amazon's Kindle, the app has been given little attention by Microsoft, with the last update for the PC version in 2007 and for mobile devices in 2009.
Users will be able to access the Microsoft Reader application and any .lit materials on their PCs or devices after the discontinuation date, the company said, but new content for purchase from retailers in the .lit format will be discontinued on 8 November 2011.