Readers who have made any eBook purchases from Microsoft will see their entire library disappear this month, as the company is set to shut down its store.
The company announced in April that it would stop selling eBooks and that any books had already been bought would stop working in early July, following the servers being shut off.
A licence to access - not own
eBook buyers don't actually own the books themselves - readers instead have only actually paid for access to an online library to read them. This means that, in the event that the service is closed, any books which were bought from the library will disappear.
Microsoft's eBook customers will now see their entire book collection vanish this month with the closure of the store, with even the "free" downloads set to be deleted.
Refunds will automatically begin rolling out for eligible customers early this month (Photo: Shutterstock)
The company launched the eBook store back in 2017, but tech limitations which required customers to use Microsoft's Edge browser to read the books made it unpopular.
The books also came with restrictive digital rights management, prohibiting people from sharing files with others. This means that Microsoft can take access to the books away at any moment, as per the terms and conditions of every major eBook store.
Fellow stores, such as Amazon, Apple and Google, also broadly follow the same rules, meaning shoppers are actually just buying a licence to read the books, rather than a licence to own them. Customers cannot freely give away their book to someone else once they have finished reading it, due to piracy.
What will happen to the books bought through Microsoft?
Refunds will automatically begin rolling out for eligible customers early this month to their original payment method.
If this is no longer valid or on file, customers will be given a credit back to their Microsoft account for use online in the Microsoft Store.
Microsoft have not confirmed the exact date when the store will be shut down, but it is expected to be early this month (July 2019).