I guess the only surprise here is when this would happen. But Microsoft is indeed shutting down the ebook functionality in its Edge web browser and in the Microsoft Store.
“The books category is closing,” a Microsoft email to ebook customers reads. “Thanks for buying or downloading an ebook from the Microsoft Store. Starting April 2, 2019, the books category will be closing. Unfortunately, this means you will no longer have access to your current ebooks as of July 2019, but you’ll get a full refund if you paid for your ebook download.”
You can learn more about this inevitable move from the Microsoft Support website, which notes that you can no longer buy, rent or pre-order books. You can, however, continue to use Microsoft Edge to read books you’ve acquired until early July 2019. Checking the Microsoft Store in Windows 10, I can see that the Books category is indeed missing in action.
Those foolish few who did buy ebooks from Microsoft can get a refund for their purchases.
“Refund processing for eligible customers start rolling out automatically in early July 2019 to your original payment method,” the firm explains. “If your original payment method is no longer valid and on file with us, you will receive a credit back to your Microsoft account for use online in Microsoft Store.” If you purchased a book with a gift card, you’ll get a credit to your Microsoft account.
Finally, those even fewer who actually made annotations in their ebooks will get an additional $25 credit to their Microsoft account. You need to have made annotations prior to today, sorry.
Microsoft added ebook and EPUB support to Edge in the Creators Update in early 2017. It then added the same support to Edge mobile about a year later. For some reason.