That’s what Mediabistro’s Mobile Content Today thinks: Speculation: Will Microsoft’s ZuneHD Include an eBook Reader?
There’s a lot of interesting speculation about the rumored Microsoft ZuneHD which resembles an iPod touch with a large multi-touch touch screen. One speculation we have not seen about it so far, however, is whether or not it will be an ebook reader to compete with the Kindle or, at least, the Kindle iPhone app. Why would I think it might be an ebook reader if no one else does? A friend recently pointed out (tweeted) that the old Microsoft Reader, and ebook app nearly a decade old now seems to be in a revival phase.
It looks like Microsoft is now offering a new eBook creation tool too. [Update: I’ve been informed in Comments that this tool has been around, is not new, and is in fact six years old.] I’m pretty sure Microsoft used to tell people to go get OverDrive’s ReaderWorks to create LIT eBooks.
It also seems Microsoft is now offering a choice of DRM flavors too.
It’s Zune HD. Will probably have a reader built in. Zune is NOT the future of ebooks (or anything else).
Microsoft would certainly have to do things differently to re-enter the eBook game.
1) Dump the Passport activation of MS Reader
2) Develop versions of MS Reader for iPhone OS and Palm’s webOS
3) Build eBook ordering directly into MS Reader
4) Really lean on publishers to lower their prices
5) Update the MS Word LIT-creation tool (Word 2003? Say what?)
If Microsoft really does re-enter eBooks with the Zune HD, it’d highlight another misstep of Sony — which never included its Sony eBook reading software in the PlayStation Portable.