Microsoft Building an Xbox Reader App for Windows 8
After music and movies, Microsoft is reportedly set to extend the Xbox brand to ebooks.Microsoft is reportedly working on an Xbox Reader app for Windows 8 that will bring ebooks and magazines to PCs and tablets powered by the OS. The app was revealed in a job listing uncovered by LiveSino, a Chinese Microsoft blog, according to The Verge's Tom Warren. He reported that Microsoft is seeking a "software design engineer to build 'a groundbreaking interactive reading app on Windows, which incorporates books, magazines, and comics.' Potential candidates would join the same Music, Video, and Reading (MVR) team that has already shipped two built-in Xbox branded apps for Windows 8." A new Xbox-branded Reader app stands a strong chance of seeing the light of day. A source confirmed that "Microsoft is planning to build the new app," said Warren. The current Reader app is fairly basic, he noted, allowing users to display PDF, XPS and TIFF files. It is unclear this early whether the app will appear on its namesake console. The company's Office division is also getting in on the act, although with a more business-flavored version. "Microsoft’s Office team is also developing its own separate 'Office Reader' app for Windows 8. Office Reader is designed to be a cross-format tool for consuming different types of content, including PDFs and textbooks," said Warren. Office Reader is expected to launch later this year and is being developed separately by the MVR team.
Oct. 4, 2012, the software giant hinted at a fuller e-reader ecosystem on Windows 8 after investing $300 million in Nook Media, a joint venture between Microsoft and embattled bookseller Barnes & Noble.