Testing Windows Mobile Microsoft Reader 2.4.2 with 10 Year Old eBooks

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Last week, I noted that…

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

During the weekend, I installed Microsoft Reader 2.4.2 on a HTC Advantage X7500 Windows Mobile touch screen phone. I also dug up the 20 or so free ebooks that Microsoft released through a partnership with Barnes and Noble (if I recall correctly) back in 2000 when the first Windows Mobile Reader was released. You can see a partial list above. And, you’ll also note an ebook file I created (Comdex 2000 Guide) using free Word tools Microsoft provided back then.

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As you can see, these nearly 10 year old ebooks show up fine in the latest Microsoft Reader for Windows Mobile release. The cover art looks a bit odd because it was probably optimized for the lower color depth resolution available for Pocket PCs of that time.

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The ebook itself has a couple of odd artifacts in the landscape view HTC Advantage X7500. You can see the “6″ next to the book title (Ghost Ship) in the upper left corner. And the page number at the bottom looks rather odd with the “3 13 4″ there.

Gestures (finger tip or stylus) did not seem to turn ebook pages. However, the Advantage’s joytick did a fine job for that. I suspect keyboard-less touch-screen-only Windows Mobile phones are going to present a problem for Reader.

Placing that issue aside for the moment, reading the book pages was comfortable ont the Advantage’s large LCD display. I’m not sure, though, if the presentation of essentially one paragraph per screen is a comfortable way to read a entire book. It certainly wasn’t something I felt comfortable doing back in 2000 when I downloaded the free ebooks to give the Reader 1.0 app a test. However, since I’ve read 2.5 novels (so far) on my iPhone and iPod touch (Kindle WhisperSync is a great service), I’ll give Microsoft Reader for Windows Mobile another try nearly a decade later.

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