Amazon might be in for some competition from the folks in Redmond. In a job listing on its Careers site, Microsoft talks about a "groundbreaking interactive reading app" that's apparently under development.
Posted on January 28, the listing is for a position on Microsoft's Music, Video, Reading (MVR) team—a team described as "laser-focused to deliver the next generation of media content experiences across devices powered by the services and magic of Xbox LIVE." The listing reads in part:
As an SDE, you will be on the team building a groundbreaking interactive reading app on Windows, which incorporates books, magazines, and comics. In this position you will be expected to drive, design, and deliver the features that you work on. The ideal candidate will have strong technical skills, the ability to work in a fast-paced and collaborative, cross-discipline team environment, and a passion for digital entertainment.
The guys at The Verge were able to finagle more information from a "source familiar with the company's plans," who confirmed the existence of the reading app. As the site points out, Windows 8 already includes a Reader app with basic support for PDF, XPS, and TIFF files. Microsoft could build a new app, or it could revamp the existing one.
One thing seems likely: given the mention of Xbox Live in the job listing, the new app may very well have Xbox branding. Windows 8 already includes Xbox Video, Xbox Music, and Xbox Games apps. I suppose an Xbox Reading app would fit right in.