Back when I last checked (couple of years ago), if you wanted to read .lit format books, you had to either install MS Reader software (which meant only Windows PC), or download a somehat-shady (not sure if legal or not, but certainly not official) c-lit converter.

These days, are there any programs (for Android, or Linux, or Windows) which officially support .lit file format? (I don't need a list, merely the "yes/no" fact of whether Microsoft allows at least one of them to exist with their official OK, or whether their official stance is "no other programs are allowed to").

2 Answers 2


There is at least one reader available for Android now which supports reading lit formatted (non-DRM) books, Cool Reader. I am as we speak looking at an opened .lit file in Cool Reader on a Samsung GT-i9100.

Alternatively, you could follow this recommendation from the developers of Aldiko, another popular eBook reader for Android (quote from www.aldiko.com):

If you have non-DRMed books in the following formats: lit, pdf, mobi, rtf, txt, html, fb2, prc**, odt, cbr and cbz, you can use a free software called Calibre to convert any of the above formats to ePub and then import your books into Aldiko. You can get Calibre from here http://calibre.kovidgoyal.net/. If need assistance for doing that, please feel free to let us know.

Hardware based readers, I found only one manufacturer, Hanlin V4 and V5 (search the web) that support lit.

So... Have fun reading you lits!


Well, since Microsoft has pretty much abandoned MS Reader… you might try using Calibre to convert the files to eOub or Mobi. That is, if there's no DRM on them.

As for your yes/no question — the answer is no, but allow me to additionally provide the reason.

The reason that there is no alternative LIT reader for Android and/or other operating systems is simple: writing a LIT reader would put the app developer in legally dangerous waters. LIT is a closed format created and owned by Microsoft and any attempts to support it would be quite questionable from legal point of view. Personally, I doubt anyone would want to test the abilities of Microsoft's legal department.

Quoting the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act to point to just one of many legal problems a developer might clash into:

DMCA "criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself." This is from the DMCA's wikipedia page

So, until Microsoft decides to officially make the closed LIT format available to the public, or at least modifies their relevant licensing accordingly… I wouldn't count on alternative LIT reader to be born.

  • Re: 3rd paragraph, what I meant was specifically something written with official MS blessing (e.g. someone talked to MS legal and got a license/agreement to do so)
    – DVK
    Dec 20, 2013 at 19:29
  • 1
    @DVK As far as I know and could verify things, such licensing has never happened in relation to LIT. Microsoft doesn't seem to be very interested in anything related. From what I understand, the real problem is Microsoft's embedded DRM technology which they don't really want to share. (Looking at their Xbox might be an eye-opener.) Actually, that's also one of the main reasons why you'll only be able to convert LIT files with Calibre and alike programs if those LITs aren't DRM protected.
    – e-sushi
    Dec 20, 2013 at 19:35

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