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Microsoft Says No To E-books For Now

Quashing persistent rumours about Microsoft’s plans to hop onto the rapidly growing e-book reader domain, the software giant’s chief executive, Steve Ballmer, has made it clear that the company has absolutely no interest in doing so.

Addressing an event in the Netherlands, Microsoft’s outspoken boss said that his company already has "a device for reading. It’s the most popular device in the world. It’s the PC". (ed, clearly he hasn't tried reading Tolstoi's Peace and War on the Tube with a 2kg Tablet PC).

He further went on to say that he is rather looking forward to companies, like Amazon, to bring their e-books to the PCs. Along the same line, he said: “Hopefully we can get that to happen with Barnes & Noble or Amazon or somebody. But no, we are not interested in e-readers ourselves”.

Microsoft already offers its users Microsoft Reader, which is a free, downloadable application that can be used for reading literature on PCs. In addition, the application supports tablet PCs too.

Ballmer further said that Microsoft would be looking ahead to collaborate with Amazon and the likes to bring in more books to the PC, desktop and laptops alike although the audience of those looking to read a book from a desktop screen would certainly be small.

This statement from Ballmer comes as a surprise for some analysts, who have been anticipating an e-book reader device from the labs of Microsoft, especially in the wake of the noticeable growth shown by e-book reader market in the past couple of years.

Our Comments

We fondly remember when Bill Gates said that 640K of memory was enough for personal computers and the fact that Windows 95 originally wasn't suppose to have a web browser. The rest as they say is history, so don't discount the possibility of having a Microsoft E-book project in the future.

Related Links

PCs are best for e-reading, Microsoft's Ballmer says (opens in new tab)


Microsoft will not challenge Amazon Kindle for e-reader market (opens in new tab)

(The Christian Science Monitor)

Ballmer: No E-Readers For Microsoft (opens in new tab)

(PC World)

Microsoft CEO Ballmer Denies Interest In E-Readers, Says Report (opens in new tab)


Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.