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  #1  
Old 09-14-2009, 03:00 PM
Ed Hansberry
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Default Microsoft Reader Gets Updated

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=5f77654d-c8b8-4eca-9a2d-1e6b8ded8fc2' target='_blank'>https://www.microsoft.com/downloads...2d-1e6b8ded8fc2</a><br /><br /></div><p>I thought Microsoft reader was a dead product. There hasn't been an update in years and its most well known partner, Amazon, dumped Reader and everyone else when it went with the Kindle. I couldn't even find anything on the help pages about Microsoft Reader, so i am guessing that Amazon's activation servers have been shuttered too.</p><p>Todd Ogasawara at MobileContentToday noticed that seemingly out of the blue, Microsoft has updated MS Reader to 2.4.2 for WinMo 6.0 and 6.1 devices. You can still buy the .LIT books at some online libraries according to <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/reader/" target="_blank">Microsoft's site</a>, but I am not sure how up to date those libraries are. Microsoft's <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/reader/find/popular.aspx" target="_blank">Most Popular page</a> doesn't have anything from 2009, and the 2008 titles for the most part aren't ringing too many bells with me as being chart toppers.</p><p>Todd is speculating that this might be a prelude to the Zune HD launch tomorrow. Could the Zune HD have MS Reader preinstalled? If so, will you be able to buy books from the Zune Marketplace? We'll have to wait and see. I got an email from the Zune support team that the site was going to go down today and be back tomorrow for an overhaul, so it is plausible that they are adding additional functionality to the store.</p>
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:16 PM
txa1265
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Cool - thanks for that! I recently updated my Axim to WiMo 6.1 and naturally I couldn't read my DRM-infested books anymore ... now I'm good to go once again!
 
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:36 PM
tuskin
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Thumbs up Good news

I have been using Microsoft Reader on two Ipaqs, use it at the moment on my MWG Atom and hopefully can continue using it on my next WinMobile HTC Touch Diamond2. I have read (yes, really) hundreds of books using Microsoft Reader. At the moment I am reading J.G. Ballard's Complete Short Stories.

You can buy LIT-books from Fictionwise and probably from other online shops. Manybooks.net and Munseys offer Gutenberg and other free ebooks in .LIT. And if .lit is not available you can roll your own: Michisoft Reader Studio is free (though not actively developed any more) and can convert html and text files to lit.

The only gripes I have against Microsoft Reader is the stupid activation system and its very rudimentary library features and ok - the proprietary .lit format. But then - the other readers I've tried have not been any better. Still looking for the optimal reader, but meanwhile Microsoft Reader will do. And nice to hear it is still being developed
 
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:27 PM
The Yaz
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I would love to see Zune HD use Microsoft Reader. I'm still dragging around my Pocket PC from 2002 just to re-read my Lord of the Rings. Besides, I do not like having my personal collections (Music, video, books) on my corporate smartphone anyway.

(Need to line up all of the reasons for the wife to get me the Zune HD for Christmas... HD Radio, check... Ebook Reader, Check... Wifi Internet, Check...)

Steve

Last edited by The Yaz; 09-14-2009 at 05:29 PM..
 
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:12 PM
Gerard
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Microsoft Reader 'died' for a few reasons, any one of which was enough for most.

~ With more than a dozen or so LIT files in one's device, it took ages to open the program thanks to some sort of scanning into memory for the titles. That wore out my patience to the point where I just didn't use it, even though I had lots of books in LIT format which I wanted to read. Waiting half a minute or longer (got to be over a minute in the case of my collection of free and paid titles) when one wishes to do a few minutes of reading just doesn't make sense.

~ DRM controls meant that it was very difficult to just pick up where one left off with a new device. Many users get new devices every 6 months or so. Since activation via one's Hotmail account was mandated, and since there was for a long time a severe restriction on the number of activated devices allowed (I think it was 4, right?), it could be a long wait for a support email to get replied to and perhaps, if one was lucky, receive further activations.

~ Many of us predicted that Microsoft Reader, as with any proprietary format forced upon users, had a limited lifespan and was therefore a bad investment when building a library of ebooks. Guess what? It died! Less than a decade... heck, it really only lasted about 5 or 6 years before Microsoft dropped it from the OS core apps like a hot potato. I feel for the folks who purchased hundreds of ebooks in LIT format, as many will have lost access to that material if they had not the technical know-how to work around this abandonment.

There are ways of course to get the words and pictures out of a LIT file. Add a C in front of that extension and one gets the (somewhat awkward) name of a freeware DOS tool which unpacks all the HTML and other elements from a LIT file, enabling reading in a browser or any decent ebook reader (my preference for years now being µBook from gowerpoint dot com). While I still had a version of MS Reader activated on my PC I converted all my LIT books thanks to this tool, and then deleted all the LIT files which served no real purpose outside of making profits for Microsoft. I hope they learned a lesson from this... but no, not likely, especially if they're still working on that silly program. The ability to scribble on an ebook was about the most special element of that otherwise slow and buggy reader, and really, why would I need to scribble on my books? Install this on a new device? No thanks.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:41 PM
yawanag
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Default MS Reader Update

I'm glad to hear that. I haven't been able to read any of my .Lit books since I got WM5. I quit buying ebooks because I'd get excited about a book I bought and then couldn't read it. I think it was criminal how MS led people into believing that something was going to be done about this. And the activation process was a joke.

I'm going to give this a shot and if I still can't read the books I want I'm through with MS Reader.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:43 PM
txa1265
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Yeah, Gerard, that was the tool I found and used ... I never spent too much on ebooks in LIT format, mostly I was involved back when it first came out with converting public domain stuff to LIT format. That was fun stuff, but on my poor old HP Jornada 545 at the time ... wow that app was dog slow!
 
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  #8  
Old 09-15-2009, 05:08 AM
Rob Alexander
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Wow, tough crowd! I'm a little confused by what I'm reading because several of you make it sound like you couldn't run Reader any more. No one told me it doesn't work any more, so I've been running it all along. I'm currently running it on my WM6.1 phone. Personally, I like Reader. It's simple, it remembers where I am, even if the device crashes, and it works fine for me.

The key, and this is the key for all things digital, is that I have nothing to lose from DRM because I have never bought a DRM'd LIT book (nor have I ever bought DRM'd music). Listen, it's really this simple. If you buy something with DRM, plan to lose it eventually, and don't whine about it when it happens. No matter who the company is, no matter how big they are or how liberal their policies, if the file requires someone else's server to use it, then you will eventually lose it.

eReader's is the only DRM system I've seen where you don't eventually lose the book, but it's still a pain to keep track of what credit card I used 6 years ago to buy that particular book. So I buy my ebooks from Baen and others who offer DRM-free books and I ripped my own CDs until Amazon and others started offering MP3s. (Missed practically an entire generation of new music, but the issue was too important to compromise on.) Now I buy quite a bit of music from Amazon and I continue to enjoy my DRM-free LIT books.

Since I'm one of the few people left in the world who still use it, I'm quite pleased that they've updated Reader. I really hope they do bring it back in the Zune and create a new market for the format.
 
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  #9  
Old 09-15-2009, 05:19 PM
rebecker
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Well, one thing is still the same with the Reader as it was when I had an iPAQ 3650, I still CAN'T activate it. But then who cares, I don't own any LIT files that need activation.
 
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:44 PM
yawanag
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Default MS Reader Update

OK, so I installed the upgrade and I still can't read the books I purchased after 2005. You would think that after 4 years MS would get it right. I am trying to read "The Purpose Driven LIfe," but get a message that says: The digital security software that protects this eBook has been updated. You must re-activate in order tto open this title. Please go to www.microsoft.com/re...for additional information.

When I looked up this message, it said this happens when the book is installed on a storage card. I installed to main memory and got the same thing. Anybody know a way around this? I've been at this for four years and it's wearing me out.
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