When I first made the leap to Zune from iTunes, one of the things that literally blew my mind was the Microsoft Points system. It’s of those things within the Microsoft ecosystem that manages to boggle normal users mind. Why should you have exchange a legally recognized tender to purchase things on a cyber store? Over the past few years we’ve seen Microsoft ease off of the payment system slightly, specifically with Windows Phone and Xbox. Zune Marketplace, Xbox Avatar Marketplace, and Xbox Game Add-ons Marketplace however remain a stalwarts, the one last remaining digital ecosystems that requires you to use Microsoft Points exclusively.  My question is simple and direct. There need only be one form of digital currency in the Microsoft ecosystem, real money, or Microsoft Points. Which one do you think should be the standard?

6 Comments on “Sunday Sitdown: Let’s Talk About Microsoft Points”

  1. The issue with MS Points (and I believe the reason they exist) is with credit card transaction fees. When selling low value items online (a song, an avatar item, etc), each $.49 or $.79 transaction would incur a CC transaction fee, if you were to use real money via CC. By using Points, MS is able to bundle transactions, and cut down on the fees. Now as to how this is implemented and marketed (does anyone understand they’re saving CC fees with Points?), that’s another story.

    • For me it’s a two problem issue. I don’t mind using Microsoft Points as they do save you from small transaction fees and keep the cost down, but to not communicate that well, and instead introduce real money into the equation just doesnt make sense to me. For example Zune Marketplace has always used MS Points on the client side, however With the new MP3 Marketplace on Zune.net it’s strictly a Credit Card affair.

  2. For those of us who have always been outside the Zune Marketplace locales, being able to purchase and use points is important. Now, it remains to be seen how well MS ports the US Marketplace to their new markets when they maketheir move into new markets, like Japan. What I have seen and heard so far does not bode well. I am resigned to the fact that I weill have to use my alter ego (my Japanese XBOX Live ID as it is my only billing option for apps, etc. But that will leave my Zune Pass high and dry, only to be used on my PC and HD.

    But that creates another rub, I will likely have to sync my phone to one PC and my Zune to another or risk mayhem logging in and out and ultimately into different Marketplaces for my different devices.

    This is all a moot point until I actual have my hands on a WP7.5 device! With the rumors of August recently, that means I will at least get to drool over them in shops until my carrier offers them and until my current contract expires in December…

    • I’ve heard talk Japan may be one of the places they expand Zune Pass to. Here’s to hoping they solve your account login stuff. That process sounds nuts.

  3. The fact that this is mind boggling at all amuses me, if you would actually do the math you would know that 80msp=$1.00USD. IDK why this is such a hard thing for people. I prefer MSP because it allows for a universal currency to be adopted in any country.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.