You just got ghosted by Microsoft. You know all those Microsoft Store e-books you bought and didn't get around to reading? Well, they may be gone now. And so are the books you read and loved.
The Microsoft Store is out of the e-book business and it is wiping the slate clean. This means all those e-books from the Microsoft Store you purchased or rented began disappearing this week.
So what do you do now? We can't help get your e-book back, but we can show you what to do in order to get your money back. Plus, there are other services out there such as Amazon's Kindle and newcomer Walmart with Kobo that you can use.
Microsoft closes its e-book chapter
It's not like Microsoft didn't warn you. The company announced that on April 2, the e-books category of the Microsoft Store would be closing. It also announced that starting in early July, the e-books would no longer be available to read.
The company said it would start removing e-books from Microsoft Edge in early July as it processes refunds. When you get your refund, poof! All your e-books are gone.
So, as you sit there sadly looking at your empty virtual bookshelf, at least you know you'll be getting your money back. Even better news, you won't have to do a thing to get your refund.
If you pre-ordered a book, the order is automatically canceled and you won't be charged. Refunds also will be made automatically to your original payment method. If your original payment method is no longer valid but on file with the company, you will receive a credit on your Microsoft account that you can use to buy other items in the Microsoft Store.
For books bought with gift cards or original payment methods no longer linked to your Microsoft account, you will receive a Microsoft Store online credit.
Now for the bad news for some readers: Any markups or notes you made in your Microsoft Store e-book will disappear along with the book. But you will receive an additional $25 credit to your Microsoft account at the same time your refund is processed.
Why Microsoft bailed on e-books
Microsoft's announcement that its store would no longer be selling e-books amounted to not much more than directing people to an FAQ site. The company has never really given a reason for why it was shutting down its e-book market.
Reports say the move was an effort to streamline the focus of the Microsoft Store. It's been speculated that the death of e-books at Microsoft was due to its new Chromium-based Edge browser.
In the past, Microsoft touted its non-Chromium-based Edge browser as providing the best reading experience for e-books.
Forbes, on the other hand, thinks it's because e-books are not the moneymakers for Microsoft that they are for Amazon or even Apple. It's not that Microsoft didn't try. In 2012, the company made a $300 million investment in Barnes&Noble and created the Nook Media.
Let's face it -- Nook Media was never much of a threat to Amazon's Kindle. Compared to Amazon, there may be many fewer Microsoft e-book readers out there. However, if you're a book lover, losing any book outlet hurts.
But never fear Kim Komando e-book lovers. Visit Kim Komando's e-book store on Amazon and find helpful and educational downloadable e-books on topics such as "How to use Amazon Echo," "iPhone for seniors," "Android for seniors," and one of our favorites, "50 ways to make money from home."
Thousands of free books for your e-reader, tablet, phone or computer
There's never been a better time for those who love to read. In a matter of minutes, you can download hundreds or even thousands of e-books and then take them with you anywhere. They'll work on your e-reader, smartphone, tablet or computer. And while these e-books are easy to get and even easier to take with you, there is a catch.