Microsoft is apparently working on building an ebook store into Windows 10, allowing users to purchase and read books in Microsoft Edge.
The new ebook store interface could become available with the Windows 10 Creators Update, aiming to make its "Universal Store" more appealing and useful.
The news comes from MSPoweruser, which was the first to report on the addition and offer screenshots of the upcoming Windows 10 ebook store.
Microsoft Windows 10 Ebook Store
"We were today able to get an early look at the new e-books store in an internal build of Windows 10 Mobile, but the feature is also going to be available for PCs and tablets running Windows 10," reports the Microsoft-centric publication.
As MSPoweruser points out, news of an upcoming ebook store baked into Windows 10 is not all that surprising. Microsoft added EPUB support to its Edge browser last year, as part of its Windows 10 Creators Update test builds for Insiders, so it was already signaling the addition of ebooks.
While Microsoft has yet to make it official and detail just when the new ebooks store will hit Windows 10, the prospect is nonetheless exciting and could turn out to be a great asset particularly for the education market.
Microsoft has long been trying to better position Windows devices on the education market and compete against Chromebooks, and the addition of a Windows 10 ebook store could give it a good edge.
At the same time, adding ebook support to the Windows Store would give Microsoft another potential option to make money off Windows. The company currently monetizes its OS by allowing users to buy apps, music, games, movies and TV shows through the Windows Store.
According to MSPoweruser, buying ebooks would be just like purchasing an app or a game from the Windows Store. On the downside, it's very likely that enjoying those ebooks would be possible only on Microsoft Edge and not on other browsers.
Ebooks On Microsoft Edge
Microsoft has been struggling to make its Edge browser more appealing than ever since it first launched it with Windows 10, but it's still trailing rivals such as Chrome, Firefox and Opera.
The company has been aggressively pushing the Microsoft Edge browser, touting that it's safer than Chrome and Firefox, claiming that it's the best browser for battery life, and even pushing notifications prompting Chrome users to switch to Edge.
In this context, this move to make ebooks accessible only on Microsoft Edge could have two potential outcomes. In the first scenario, it could make Edge more appealing and drive adoption. In the second, it could make the ebooks store less appealing due to limited browser compatibility.
On the other hand, the Windows Store is just one storefront part of the Universal Store Microsoft has envisioned for its ecosystem. With its Universal Store, Microsoft wants to offer the transactions and digital licensing beyond Windows Store, reaching other Windows, Xbox, mobile, web, Office and MSN content, as well as the hardware, software and services sold in physical retail stores.
Microsoft aims to unify all of these storefronts to streamline the experience and make the Universal Store a one-stop-shop for more platforms.
The company is not commenting at this point, other than to mention that it regularly tests various features and functionality through its Windows Insider Program. That said, there's no guarantee that the ebook store will actually make it to the Windows 10 Creators Update, but it remains to be seen.
Would you be interested in a Windows 10 ebook store? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.