Earlier this month one of the pioneers in eBooks shut down their eBookstore and got ready to turn off the lights. MobiPocket, after 12 years in the business, is no longer selling eBooks.
When Mobipocket launched, it quickly became one of the 3 common eBook formats, along with MSReader and eReader. It was a moderately successful company right up until 2005, when it was purchased by Amazon. That sale marked the beginning of the end. As you can probably guess from the launch and explosive success of the Kindle, Amazon bought Mobipocket in order to turn it into the Kindle platform. But Amazon only used some parts, and left some of the more interesting features on the cutting room floor.
To be honest, I’m sure most saw this coming. Mobipocket hadn’t released any new apps or software updates in several years, and Amazon quietly ended the Mobipocket library ebooks back in October. They’ve even been cutting back on staff for some time now, with publishers complaining about missed payments and the support forums being filled with spam.