Microsoft Xbox Reading app for Windows 8 is in the works
Microsoft plans to go beyond its Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps by developing a similar app for books.
A Microsoft job listing, originally spotted by Chinese Microsoft blog LiveSino, has revealed Microsoft wants to hire a software design engineer to develop "a groundbreaking interactive reading app on Windows", which would incorporate "books, magazines, and comics".
The job listing further claimed all potential candidates would join the Music, Video, and Reading team that developed the Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Xbox. It's unclear if the Reading app would also port to Xbox consoles.
According to The Verge, which cited an unnamed source familiar with Microsoft's plans, Microsoft is developing an app for books that could either be a redesign of its exisiting Reader app for Windows 8 or an entirely rebuilt app with Xbox branding.
Adding to the evidence pile, tech website enConnected reported that a Microsoft video from November leaked an early version of the Xbox Reading app. The image above, for instance, shows the Reading app giving access to magazines.
The Microsoft Office team is also developing a different Office Reader app for Windows 8. Microsoft’s Kirk Koenigsbauer showed off the Office Reader app at a company meeting in 2013. The Verge noted it's supposed to be a cross-format tool for PDFs and textbooks, and it will allegedly ship later this year.
Keep in mind that Microsoft invested $300 million into Barnes & Noble in 2012. An Xbox-branded Reading app could therefore be the first fruits of pricey investment. After all, Microsoft's products have yet to include any Barnes & Noble services, though there is a Nook app for Windows 8.