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Old 12-30-2008, 11:51 AM   #1
Nate the great
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Microsoft Reader News

There used to be site at the address www.mslit.com. It was owned by Microsoft and used to support Microsoft Reader ebook format. The site wasn't very pretty, but it had an excellent search function that covered all ebooks in MSReader format.

The ugly but functional site is gone. Sometime in the last two weeks Microsoft started redirecting the URL to www.microsoft.com/reader. It looks like Microsoft has noticed the growing ebook market, and has decided to take it seriously.
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Old 12-30-2008, 11:52 AM   #2
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hmph. i'm not sure whether to be pleased or worried.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:03 PM   #3
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hmph. i'm not sure whether to be pleased or worried.
You can never have too many 800 pound gorillas in the room.

BOb
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:30 PM   #4
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hmph. i'm not sure whether to be pleased or worried.
I'm slightly worried that this increased interest in ebooks might mean an update that unbreaks the DRM. MSReader is the only format where it could happen.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:31 PM   #5
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I'm slightly worried that this increased interest in ebooks might mean an update that unbreaks the DRM.
right, that's what i meant.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:31 PM   #6
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"...and has decided to take it seriously."

Nate, are you suggesting that Microsoft may come back with something new and different?

Last edited by vivaldirules; 12-30-2008 at 12:32 PM. Reason: answered
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:15 PM   #7
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Of course, there are a couple possible upsides.

The first is that Microsoft might finally fix the user interface of the reader software. It looks horrible on small screens.

The second is that MS might be planning to develop a device for the MSReader format. This might not seem like a big deal, but one problem with MSReader is device authorization. Every time you hard reset a PDA, it has to be reauthorized so it can read DRMed ebooks, and an account can only have 6 authorized devices. Each time it is reauthorized, that is one more device.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:21 PM   #8
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The second is that MS might be planning to develop a device for the MSReader format. This might not seem like a big deal, but one problem with MSReader is device authorization. Every time you hard reset a PDA, it has to be reauthorized so it can read DRMed ebooks, and an account can only have 6 authorized devices. Each time it is reauthorized, that is one more device.
hm, that might explain a problem i had recently... i had to reinstall my system recently and when i bought a lit format book after that i had to go through the reader authorisation process again. it worked and i was able to download the new book... BUT, later, i was playing with calibre and testing the automatic lit conversion, and i discovered that i couldn't open any of the downloaded lits from before the reauthorisation. i also can't download them again from fictionwise, i get an error saying the file doesn't match my authorisation key (or something, i forget exactly). it's not catastrophic since i already exploded those files when i got them, so i have the core html with the text (which is what counts), although it does confirm my deep loathing of drm... i was planning to write to fictionwise about it one of these days... but if i have to reauthorise my reader every time i reinstall my system, and i lose a slot (out of only 6 possible) every time, that is a HUGE flaw in their drm system.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:30 PM   #9
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but if i have to reauthorise my reader every time i reinstall my system, and i lose a slot (out of only 6 possible) every time, that is a HUGE flaw in their drm system.
My solution is to avoid depending on being able to re-retrieve DRMed copies from Fictionwise. As soon as I buy a book, I download it, strip the DRM, and toss the DRM-stripped LIT file into my archive. I simply don't worry about the re-activation count -- in fact, due to factors not worth going into I'm on my 3rd or so activation for a fourth completely different account. This has the added benefit that I don't lose all my books if Fictionwise suddenly goes under .
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:34 PM   #10
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My solution is to avoid depending on being able to re-retrieve DRMed copies from Fictionwise. As soon as I buy a book, I download it, strip the DRM, and toss the DRM-stripped LIT file into my archive. I simply don't worry about the re-activation count -- in fact, due to factors not worth going into I'm on my 3rd or so activation for a fourth completely different account. This has the added benefit that I don't lose all my books if Fictionwise suddenly goes under .
Ditto.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:35 PM   #11
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My solution is to avoid depending on being able to re-retrieve DRMed copies from Fictionwise. As soon as I buy a book, I download it, strip the DRM, and toss the DRM-stripped LIT file into my archive. I simply don't worry about the re-activation count -- in fact, due to factors not worth going into I'm on my 3rd or so activation for a fourth completely different account. This has the added benefit that I don't lose all my books if Fictionwise suddenly goes under .
oh, make no mistake, i also get rid of the drm first thing !! but on the previous lot of books, i just exploded them into html etc., and didn't keep a drm-free lit version (i didn't see the point... ) so i still have my books, no worries, just not in lit format.

now of course i've started "downconverting" the files first to obtain a drm-free lit file, and *then* converting them to a more useful format (epub, now), just in case. i'm not convinced i'll ever necessarily need the actual lit file for something i can't do with the core html files, but you never know.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:49 PM   #12
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Given the pains Microsoft has always gone through to remain backward-compatible (I think I can still run Windows 1.0 binaries under Vista, I'm sure I could under XP) I wouldn't be overly worried about a DRM update. Any update would break the current system. Then again, people got shafted with the "playsforsure" so who knows.

And nothing on the new site gives me the impression MS is about to enter the e-ink arena, the economic malaise and the Zune fiasco make me think they'll not start another hardware loss-leader soon. Which might be a pity - nothing says price drops like stiff competition. On the other hand, the less I see of the turd that is Windows Mobile the better, and I'm sure they would use that as the backend *shivers*.

My guess: minimal investment (spiffy new site) to at least be taken somewhat seriously as an ebook format.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:31 PM   #13
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Ditto.
Ditto Ditto.

I have hundreds of Rocket/Gemstar titles that are useless to me unless I dust off one of those old readers.

Within reason, I try to avoid making that mistake again, though if it's an ephemeral title and the price on the sony store is significantly less than fictionwise, I will sometimes bite the bullet and buy it in BBeB.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:41 PM   #14
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That Plastic Logic E-Ink reader that's due out pretty soon supports MS Word and Excel as well as Adobe's PDF. They haven't really announced support except those and said more were to be announced. The behind the scenes and supposedly invisible driver for the reader is Win-CE so I don't think it would be a stretch to see .lit on it.

http://www.plasticlogic.com/product.html
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:00 PM   #15
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