After opening in April, the Microsoft e-bookstore, developed in cooperation with the Ingram Content Group, is steadily adding more titles to its offerings. Microsoft intended the launch to be a “gradual rollout, not a single big unveiling,” according to Marcus Woodburn, v-p of digital products for Ingram.
Titles for the store are supplied via Ingram’s CoreSource digital asset management distribution platform, and the store offers publishers both agency and wholesale business models. Since the launch, a Microsoft spokesperson said, the site has seen double-digit monthly growth in traffic and purchases.
The store is designed exclusively for the users of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system, on which more than 600 million devices run, though title pages of books in the store can be retrieved by search engines. Marcel Garaud, a senior director of business development at Microsoft, said that the e-bookstore is designed to “offer millions of people a great opportunity to get more value out of their PCs.”
E-books can be purchased through the Microsoft Store app or on Microsoft’s website. Customers can read their e-books using the Edge browser embedded in the Windows OS, or download them for offline reading.
“We’re currently focused on making finding, purchasing, and reading an e-book on Windows a seamless experience,” Garaud said. He cited a “simplified interface, customizable learning tools, offline support, and a growing catalogue of available titles” as some of the store’s assets.
Asked if the Microsoft store will eventually support devices using other platforms such as Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android platforms, Garaud said “we don’t have any information to share [on that issue] at this time.”
Although the site launched with titles from more than 750 publishers, Garaud declined to say how many titles are currently being offered in the store: “We don’t break out numbers for the Microsoft Store, but we have titles from key publishing houses. Our catalogue is growing, and we continue to bring on additional publishing houses.”
The store, he noted, is “investigating all publishing models, including self-publishing.” He added: “Right now we’re focused on bringing our customers a strong and competitive catalogue of e-books across trade, professional, and education titles.” Garaud emphasized that the store is in its early days, and more information will be forthcoming at a later date.