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Cleartype is Microsoft's subpixel rendering technology for improving text clarity.

I recall it being used as a selling point for MS Reader and .lit format back when it was introduced.

Are similar technologies used in modern book readers (either in the reader app itself, or underlying OS)?

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The question is generic, but I'm fine if different answers exist for LCD devices vs AMOLED vs eInk –  DVK Dec 26 '13 at 15:22
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On devices that use eInk, there are no subpixels like the Red, Green and Blue subpixels that can be separately addressed on color screens. Hence there is no subpixel rendering as such on eInk devices (as stated by Sriram Peruvemba (chief Marketing Officer at E-Ink Holdings).

3rd generation iPAD has subpixel rendering according to the same article, but it is not supported by every application.

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Everyone else just calls It anti-aliasing, and it can be used on both b/w and color displays with enough color depth. I wouldn't try it with less than 64 colors on b/w displays and 16bpp on color.

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Sub-pixel rendering (as defined by directly addressing sub pixels of a display) is a form of anti-aliasing. But not all anti-aliasing is sub-pixel rendering. –  Anthon Dec 27 '13 at 7:59
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