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Windows has introduced the “next wave of innovation” with the Windows 10 Creators Update which houses many new features. A distinct feature, as evident from pictures obtained by MSPoweruser, is a new store for ebooks.
The images from an internal Windows 10 Mobile build surmises that books will have their own dedicated section of the Store. However, the software giant did not resort to a separate new app for the feature. Instead, it simply tweaked the Edge Browser to include a dedicated section for Books, building on its strong EPUB support. It allows a variety of customizations, like changing the EPUB Viewer’s theme, font size or font family.
The process of purchasing is no different from buying apps, games or music from the Windows Store. All books purchased from the Windows Store are stored in the Books section. Thanks to the EPUB support, readers enjoy features like adding bookmarks and viewing table of contents.
This update isn’t Microsoft’s first foray into the world of electronic books. Microsoft had an app called Reader long back. Developed for Pocket PC and Windows Mobile, Reader supported a proprietary HTML-based format. It also used ClearType sub-pixel anti-aliasing. Moreover, they even had an online catalog of ebooks supporting their proprietary format, linking to third-party sites that actually sold books. Reader file sales discontinued in 2011, and the software discontinued the following year.
The Creators Update intends to fill the obvious ebook gap in the Windows Store. It also packs some other interesting inclusions like 3D, virtual reality, quick connectivity and sharing, and a boost to gaming with 4K fidelity and game broadcasting. MyPeople will provide instant access to contacts from the taskbar, and share files or photos with drag-and-drop. Meanwhile, Xbox Live and Windows 10 enhance gaming with built-in Beam broadcasting and people-generated Arena tournaments.
Microsoft seems to have entered the field a little late, considering all features Amazon’s Kindle already provides. While the dearth of a dedicated bookstore was an undeniable gap, their decision to step up at a moment when interest from Windows Phone is fast fading is dubious.
Microsoft has already released the Insider builds of the Creator’s Update for testers to start using. The new bookstore will officially be coming to Windows 10 with the Creators Update, scheduled to arrive this April. The feature will be available for both Windows 10 PCs and Mobile devices.