Microsoft is waving goodbye to its Reader service, the ebook application that originally appeared back in 2000.

In theory, Microsoft Reader should be flourishing; the ebook sector is one of the most burgeoning around and devices like the Kindle and the iPad are convincing more people to put down the paperback and go digital.

Reader, however, has been burdened with the fact that it is built round the .lit proprietary file format – something that Microsoft is also canning.

Reader rebirth?

Without any real explanation, Microsoft announced on its Reader page that it was stopping the service.

"Microsoft is discontinuing Microsoft Reader effective August 30, 2012, which includes download access of the Microsoft Reader application from the Microsoft Reader website," said the notice.

"However, customers may continue to use and access the Microsoft Reader application and any .lit materials on their PCs or devices after the discontinuation on August 30, 2012.

"New content for purchase from retailers in the .lit format will be discontinued on November 8, 2011."

It will be interesting to see if Microsoft starts afresh with ebooks. There's massive scope with the sector and with Windows 8 being a more tablet-focused offering, we expect some sort of integration of ebooks to be announced by Microsoft in due course.