R.I.P., Microsoft Points? Report says they’re going away

Microsoft will be phasing out the Microsoft Points virtual currency system used on Xbox Live and Zune by the end of the year, according to a report this afternoon by Inside Mobile Apps, citing an anonymous source.

The company would instead base digital transactions on the currency wherever the purchase takes place, following the practices of Android, iOS and other online stores, according to the report.

Such a move would remove a degree of complexity for Xbox Live users and other Microsoft customers. To pay for a video in the Zune Marketplace on Xbox Live, for example, users currently need to first buy Microsoft points (if they don’t have a balance already) and then apply those to the transaction. In many cases the denominations for the points don’t match the price of the content, requiring users to pay for more points even if they don’t plan to use them right way.

In other words, good riddance, assuming the report is true. Microsoft declined to comment to the site, but we’re double-checking to see if the company has anything to say. Inside Mobile Apps says customers with Microsoft Points balances at the time of the switch will have them converted into equivalent local currency.

Microsoft is preparing for the preliminary release of the Windows Store app marketplace, set to debut with the Windows 8 beta next month, and early glimpses have shown it using regular currency, not Microsoft Points.

(Via TechMeme)

  • Anonymous

    i actually liked microsoft points that way i never really knew what i was spending on games and movies and didnt worry about it.

  • Guest

    Microsoft Points were a pretty novel way to cross currency barriers without having to think of memorable price points in every country. That said, it is a shame that you can’t buy exactly as many as you need — you have to buy at least $5 if you only intend to spend $1. I hope Microsoft makes their wallet system more flexible so I don’t have to loan money interest-free to the world’s second-largest tech company.

  • Joe M.

    By eliminating points, Microsoft will now have foreign currency exposures and higher credit card processing fees through higher volume, lower dollar transactions.  These will both be passed onto the consumer.  Additionally, you may now see teh annoying iTunes model where some artists are only offered in the iTunes Canada store or iTunes USA store, and you have to find someone in that country to buy the item for you and send the files to you.

    I hope this isn’t true, because have a balance of 100-200 Microsoft points sitting there (USD 1.50 – 2.50) never really bothered me that much, and am surprised at the uproar from a society that eagerly pisses away $5 for a cup of coffee on a daily basis.

    • Guest

      When I purchase a coffee at Starbucks, I hand the cashier a $10 Federal Reserve note and I receive $7.86 in American money. I do not receive a gift card good for $7.86 on a future Starbucks purchase.

      The Starbucks system works. The Microsoft system doesn’t.

    • http://laserwulf.myopenid.com/ Laserwulf

      How would using local currencies affect the regional availability of content? Correlation isn’t necessarily causation.

  • http://laserwulf.myopenid.com/ Laserwulf

    As long as I can still buy giftcards at Best Buy (in order to rack up BB points), the change is fine by me. The whole system of MS Points reminded me of how casinos use chips in order for you to spend more than you normally would.

  • http://laserwulf.myopenid.com/ Laserwulf

    As long as I can still buy giftcards at Best Buy (in order to rack up BB points), the change is fine by me. The whole system of MS Points reminded me of how casinos use chips in order for you to spend more than you normally would.