Microsoft Reader 2.4.2 for Windows Mobile Released 4 Years After Last Release: Prep for Zune HD eBook Reader?

This is really odd… I had thought for years that Microsoft’s ebook “Reader” app for Windows Mobile was a defunct product. Version 2.4.1 was released in November 2005. Now, nearly 4 years later, Microsoft has released a minor dot-point release for its Windows Mobile version…

Microsoft Reader 2.4.2 for Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1

What’s going on? If you go to…

http://www.microsoft.com/reader/

…you’ll see what looks like an active effort to promote (very quietly since there is no marketing campaign for Microsoft Reader) Microsoft Reader and ebooks in its format. Books featured on this page lead to two book stores I’ve never heard of…

Diesel eBooks
Powell’s Books

Amusingly, Powell’s page for a ebook listed on Microsoft’s site talks about compatibility for Pocket PC 2002 running Microsoft Reader 2.1.1.

It looks like Microsoft is positioning itself in the ebook space. I wonder if the Zune HD will have an ebook reader? We’ll find out on Tuesday (Sept.15) when it is released.