A proprietary program for displaying electronic text, currently only available for Windows CE 3.0 (PocketPC). Uses the *.LIT extension. Microsoft tried to create a hype around it in early 2000 by releasing some books for free in the LIT format (encrypted), including Michael Crichton's Timeline and several Star Trek novels. At this point, it is unclear whether Microsoft Reader will meet the same fate as Microsoft Bob. We can only hope.

Now available for Windows PCs the PC based reader is also supports the Microsoft DRM platform.

Whilst I doubt there is a demand for this sort of thing on the PC, the ClearType technology does an impressive job of rendering text.

The general idea behind Microsoft Reader is that it only works on LCD screens (laptop computers, PocketPCs and in theory, the Tablet PC). With the proper control on the way LCD pixels blend and dither, you can create very crisp, clear text, that looks more "natural". It has a more impressive effect on PocketPCs with 16 bit color (iPaqs), rather than 12 bit (most notably the Jornadas). Microsoft reader does little more than anti-alias text on a normal gun-based CRT monitor.

I think that Microsoft Reader is a good example of a technology before it's time. There is no need for eBooks yet, and there is no demand. Many business entities, including Amazon, do not have the media-on-demand capabilities to deliver this to customers in a reasonable fashion, although, as mentioned above, it is quite impressive.

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