Microsoft’s getting ready to follow Amazon, Apple, and Google into the reading game with an app for Windows to peruse e-books, magazines, and comics. The new app appears be part of Microsoft’s cross-platform Xbox entertainment services, which currently include Xbox Music and Video.
Microsoft hasn’t announced the app yet, but we know the company is working on it thanks to a job listing first noticed by Chinese-language blog LiveSino.
“As an SDE [Software Development Engineer], you will be on the team building a groundbreaking interactive reading app on Windows, which incorporates books, magazines, and comics,” the ad listing reads.
There’s always a chance Microsoft won’t introduce the app, but that seems unlikely. All of Microsoft’s major competitors already offer these kinds of services for tablets and other devices, so Microsoft really needs to offer something similar if only to round out its entertainment offerings compared to other platforms. The Verge’s sources confirmed that Microsoft is indeed working on a reading app.
Xbox Reading, or whatever it will be called, may not beat out third-party solutions like Amazon’s Kindle app or Comixology, but that hasn’t stopped Apple and Google from creating their own homegrown solutions either.
Finding a Nook
Don’t be surprised if Microsoft’s reading app pulls its library of content from Barnes & Noble’s Nook catalog. In April 2012, Microsoft invested $300 million in Barnes & Noble’s plan to spin-off its Nook business.
At the time, Microsoft said the partnership would “accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices.” Nearly two years later, however, there’s very little of substance to show for the Microsoft-Nook alliance with the exception of a Nook app for Windows 8.
It looks like that may be about to change should an Xbox reading app show up in the coming months.