We already knew that the new, Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge won’t support the EPUB document format. But Microsoft is also killing support for this format in Edge classic.
“Download an .epub app to keep reading,” a notification in Edge classic reads when you load an EPUB document. “Microsoft Edge will no longer be supporting [sic] e-books that use the .epub file extension. Visit the Microsoft Store to see our recommended .epub apps.”
Aside from the contorted grammar and word usage in the notification—it’s “support” not “be supporting,” Microsoft—the linked webpage is a “Reading room” area on the Microsoft Store that includes audiobook apps in addition to e-book apps. So good luck with that.
Microsoft provides a more grammatically correct explanation for the change on its Microsoft Edge support site, which notes that “Microsoft Edge will no longer support e-books that use the .epub file extension.” The site also links to the same terrible Microsoft Store area, but adds that “you can expect to see more added over time as we partner with companies like the DAISY Consortium to add additional, accessible apps … These apps are expected to be available in the Microsoft Store after September 2019.”
Given that, it’s likely that EPUB support will disappear in Edge classic sometime after those apps appear in the Store.
As you may recall, Microsoft killed support for e-books in Microsoft Edge (classic) and the Microsoft Store in April, and it started issuing refunds to customers who actually purchased e-books in July. That e-book functionality was based on a protected version of the EPUB document type. But it’s still unclear why Microsoft is killing EPUB in Edge: As is the case with PDF files, Edge is/was a great EPUB reader.