The real stupidity here is overlooked.
The Microsoft Store is closed, but Microsoft will be giving FULL refunds (allegedly, but I have no reason to doubt them) in July. A reader can read the books, or even (I’m assuming) download them, strip them of DRM with Calibre, and keep the book- and STILL get the refund.
If the refund process is frictionless- and if your credit card is fine, it sounds like it mostly will be- customers won’t really be hurt by this. And if a customer is savvy enough to read the book first, or make a DRM-free copy, he’s coming out ahead.
The REAL loser here is Microsoft- and by extension, its shareholders. If Microsoft had a DRM-free bookshop, then they wouldn’t have to refund customers for every purchase- they’d just shut down the storefront, no harm no foul. I doubt the charge is large- how many people bought books on the Microsoft store? Hell, how many people reading this KNEW of the Microsoft store?- but it’s still a charge. It’ll still take the profit for that quarter down a penny or two.
Given this, why would ANY company- including Apple- create and run a DRM-locked eBook store? Amazon will, but Amazon owns the market. B&N has a small piece, but even in a worst-case scenario, they’re not going to do refunds. Chances are if B&N shut down the Nook program, it’ll be because B&N is shutting down.
This means that, since no one else is going to come in and create a new eBookstore, publishers insisting on DRM-locked books will continue to be beholden to Amazon. By insisting on DRM, publishers have killed themselves and have stifled innovation- for what, the threat of piracy? That’s meaningless.