00

Microsoft Plans ‘Xbox Reader’ and ‘Office Reader’ Apps for Windows 8

xbox

Xbox is a very successful Microsoft brand, and it’s no surprise the company wants to stretch it as far as possible. “Xbox Reader,” though? According to The Verge, Microsoft may be looking to bring a full-fledged e-book, magazine and comic book reading app to Windows 8 under the Xbox name.

I know what some of you are thinking; “Isn’t Xbox a game console?” It is. But in the past few years, Microsoft has also used the Xbox brand to help buoy its entertainment efforts in music and video. What makes a potential “Xbox Reader” so strange, though, is that, while music and video apps make sense on a living room device like the Xbox, an e-book app would seem a bit out of place on your flatscreen. It just seems strange to brand something with the Xbox name if it doesn’t fit with the system itself.

Windows Reader, a PDF viewer already available for Windows 8.

Windows Reader, a PDF viewer already available for Windows 8.

There’s also another “Reader” app on deck from Microsoft; this one from its Office team. “Office Reader” would be a way for Windows 8 users to open PDF files as well as textbooks. One would assume that Office Reader could also open and at least view Office document types, but that’s not confirmed at this point.

The fact that two “Reader” apps are being developed for Windows 8 really speaks to the size of Microsoft. These apps are coming from two different teams within the company and will join the already-launched “Reader” app for Windows 8. This app, also developed and published by Microsoft, opens PDF, XPS and TIFF files.

Can a company with three “Reader” apps make finding the right one less confusing for customers? Let’s hope so.

We’ll have more news on Xbox Reader and Office Reader as it comes in.

— Shawn Farner

Shawn Farner is a Harrisburg-based tech blogger who has been involved in online media for over seven years. He covers consumer electronics, Web-based services, and tech startups. Read disclosures here.